Coronavirus – an exercise in intensified social control


 “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. I mean, it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff, 2008

The original page (first put up in January 2020) follows the chronology of relevant material, constantly updated

4 other “Coronacrisis”-related pages on this site:

Coronavirus in FranceContestavirus (a constantly updated chronology of global expressions of contestation against the new conditions of misery), Czaravirus (about the situation in Russia) and Cameravirus  (facial recognition cameras, masks and the global development of totalitarianism from China to the rest of the world)

On the search for vaccinations see this

Recommended: Letter from a comrade in China Social Contagion


This is a list of relevant material (mainly links, though with some comments), other than those related to the other 3 Coronavirus pages on this site ( listed above) and other than those which mainstream media have given most attention to. They’re put up regularly in the order they’ve been received or discovered starting with the most recent. I am obviously in opposition to the ideological content of most of these articles.


T. writes:


This article has an overly-sensational title: “Lockdown Is a Big Mistake: What Top Israeli Doctors Really Think About COVID-19”. It’s obviously not ALL Israeli “top doctors” who speak and I don’t necessarily agree with everything they say, and  it still doesn’t deal with other important aspects of this pandemic and the politics of “health”.

Sample quote:

“Countries that imposed a strict, early lockdown, like Peru and Belgium, suffered the most serious mortality rates. New Zealand also imposed strict lockdowns and last week announced it had defeated the virus for the second time. “The emphasis should be on ‘the second time.’ It’s like cheering at the end of a soccer game that you lost, because you were ahead at halftime. We can at least say that the same rates of infection existed in countries that imposed a lockdown and in those that didn’t. “Look at these two pieces of data: Pneumonia diagnoses declined by 30 to 40 percent [during the epidemic]; we replaced one disease with another – pneumonia caused by coronavirus instead of ‘regular’ pneumonia. The second statistic is that there had been a 30-percent decrease in the number of people arriving at ER for any reason.”


This seems to be a valid rejoinder  to the dominant discourse regardless of how true it eventually turns out to be. I don’t necessarily take such facts as “the truth” since in my lifetime I haven’t ever remotely known a degree of confusion and contradiction between different facts and figures and state exhortations, sometimes altering from day to day or even from hour to hour, as during this Covid1984 epoch. Masks are useless (March to June) / Masks are mandatory in enclosed spaces / Masks are obligatory both outdoors and indoors, but not on the terrace of bars/ you can take your mask off to smoke….Stay at home and only go out for essentials. / Getting fresh air is essential….The virus remains on all surfaces for several hours / The virus is only transmitted by spittle or human-to-human contact…Chloroquine is safe and can treat malaria and other diseases/ Chloroquine is certainly toxic …You can go to work in a crowded  underground, but funerals are prohibited or limited to ten people….You can only see 5 people around you but you can go on vacation by plane. 

Unfortunately people tend to believe what they want to believe according to long-developed ideologies or just an evasive  characterological anxiety about researching anything that doesn’t automatically accord with what they’ve already decided is “the truth”. They cherry-pick so selectively in order to reduce reality to “This is the essential thing you MUST understand”, an unpaid professor role that invariably demands the other person shuts up and listens, whilst the teacher-who-knows-best  monologues what they deem is the one fixed certainty in the whirlpool of confusing facts and counter-facts and of lies and counter-lies.  Macron said back in March, repeating it 5 or 6 times, “We are at war”. And “the first casualty when  war comes is truth” (Senator Hiram Johnson, 1917). Which is why Macron said on October 14th “I think that in the country of the Enlightenment and of Pasteur, we need to stop having kinds of permanent debates on facts or scientific truth. “ (here) as he announced the need for 9pm to 6am curfews in areas that have had less than a third of the deaths from Covid than from flu 4 years ago.

Critical vigilance is one of the worst casualties of this miserable epoch. It’s been replaced with anti-semitic conspiracy theories. Or a leftist “critique” of the state not doing enough. Or  fixations on only one aspect of the misery being imposed, to the neglect of most of the others. Or an aversion to anything but resigning oneself to the contradictions, shrugging off any critical attitude with a  “That’s how it goes…What can you do about it?”. Most people have so far wiped out any attempt, any  striving, any  struggle, to see clearly through the tangled web they weave when they first practised to deceive.  Such is the post-truth whirled.


Vaccine trials continue despite volunteer dying; secrecy surrounds death


Not saying anything recent here, but it’s worth pointing out that global deaths from TB in 2019 were 1.4 million. TB is an easily curable disease and relatively cheap to cure as well. It’s only because costs of the cure are too expensive for those in the “Third” World who have nothing that so many die from it. I say this because many people ask if chloraquine is such a cheap cure why would the various states “ruin the economy” by not allowing such a cure to be used. The pharmaceutical industry, as illustrated, in just the one example among many,  by the ridiculous Lancet report back in May, is a very powerful industry. It’s clearly in their trillion-dollar interest to suppress the very cheap cure of choloraquine (in Marseille the deaths using Raoult’s precisely individually tageted recipe using azythromocine in correct dosages has produced 25% of the deaths from Covid as compared with other French hospitals). This is  a cure being used in over 50  countries in the world, though its use in Brazil has rarely followed Raoult’s recipe (and in the areas inhabited by the indigenous population, the fascist state has “allowed” people to die en masse with virtually no access to any ostensible form of medical treatment whatsoever). Already a few years ago the pharmaceutical industry tried to suppress the use of Artemis Annua in African countries  as a very cheap cure for malaria, even though this had been used for decades (it’s the basis for producing hydroxychloraquine). The various states don’t necessarily or automatically answer to the pharmaceutical industry of course –  but they do have an interest in reducing people’s lives to something lived in front of a screen and  behind a mask. It petrifies alienation, both subjectively and objectively as the expression of centuries of accumulated capital acting as a force outside of our control, in unprecedented ways. The economy is not being ruined for the large capitalists whatsoever, though certainly smaller fish and the rest of us – the increasingly surplus-to-requirements population – are suffering in or out of  lockdowns, curfews, masks etc. The economy and political economy as the producer of the need for money & as the defence and development of this need  is being reinforced with every twist of the metaphorical knife. TB – 1.4m, Covid 1.12m so far. The scum at the top are happy to see the “First” World become like the “Third” World if it means those who would possibly attack their whole system are being terrified, divided, isolated and made suicidal as never before.



Banner drop on the highest point of Montpellier, France:

“With or without mask, capitalism is unbreathable”

The banner remained there for 2 days.

In the centre of Montpellier, near where I live, riot cops have been patrolling the streets  openly carrying machine guns since  1st October, supposedlyto calm things down”, though what is not calm has so far not  been made apparent. This report claims 30-35 riot cops, but in fact there are a lot more. At a bit before midnight 15th October I counted 16 riot cop vans, which can carry about 10 cops each,  parked by the main square, which was almost empty. So reassuring to be made safe like this. From midnight 17th October there’ll be a nightime curfew from 9pm to 6am, supposedly as a crackdown on Covid.  There’s only been a yellow vest demo of 300 people since the beginning of September, with the filth being heavier even than normal – chucking teargas under terrace bar tables and chairs, pepper-spraying individuals taking photos, but with virtually no “violence” from the protesters. Certainly nothing to warrant what comes over as a state of siege.  State-initiated terror “for our protection” in order to nip in the bud possible independent opposition. I hypothesise that the reason for this is the building up of intensified hostility towards government policies, including crackdowns using Covid as a pretext, such hostility being expressed in social media (though not so far in the streets or workplaces, high schools etc.) and noted by the state. This may well include hostility being expressed towards the difficulties people are finding just getting previously taken-for-granted basic social services, like pension problems or health insurance problems, partly caused by the draconian suffocation of life under Covidiocies: everything now has to be done by phone with long waiting times if you’re lucky to get through. Or internet connections that are just confusing.   This in a region where Covid-related fatalities are exceptionally low – about 28% compared with the deaths in the region from flu about 4 years ago. This totalitarianism is still in its infancy – how long before the over-70s are sent to Vocational Re-Healing Camps for our and other people’s “protection” – clearly the best way we can avoid being infected by those callous youth who just want to party all the time and spread their terrible virus that doesn’t affect them much onto us old and frail semi-senile coffin-dodgers. This may seem like a bad joke but the world has never been such a bad joke as now. And humour, as so often, hides desperation.

Meanwhile various government ministers are being sued by doctors for their mass murder of hospital staff and cops are carrying out searches of government ministers’ homes, offices and computers . Such legalism hasn’t stopped hospitals, which are very understaffed, from  allowing people with Covid to continue working there. So it’s obviously not the courts that will decide the future.


TV interview with Macron

“I think that in the country of the Enlightenment and of Pasteur, we need to stop having kinds of permanent debates on facts or scientific truth. “ – Emmanuel Macron


Ireland, Dublin:a clash of false choices intensified by Covidiocies


France: director of scientific research at the prestigious INSERM and doctor  in charge of resucitation at Parisian hospital propose using Africa as guinea pigs for anti-Covid vaccine (April 2020)

Two weeks ago, a controversy erupted after a discussion, on set, between a doctor and a researcher, who suggested testing a vaccine against the coronavirus in Africa….The statement had aroused the anger of anti-racist associations and politicians. Two weeks ago, a doctor and a researcher exchanging on the set of the LCI chain, shocked the public by evoking the idea of ​​testing the BCG vaccine against the coronavirus in Africa. Statements which are worth the chain, this Tuesday, a warning from the Superior council of audio-visual (CSA). “If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we do this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatment, no resuscitation, a bit like it’s done elsewhere on certain studies with AIDS, or among prostitutes: we try things because we know that they are highly exposed ”, declared on April 1, Jean-Paul Mira, head of intensive care at Cochin hospital , in Paris, in dialogue with Camille Locht, research director at Inserm.
” What do you think ?”, The doctor   asked the researcher. “You are right,” Professor Locht had replied at the time. “We are also thinking in parallel about a study in Africa with the same type of approach, which  does not prevent us from being able to think in parallel of doing  a study in Europe and Australia”, added the professor…These statements sparked an uproar on social media. “It is inconceivable that we will continue to accept this. Africa is not a laboratory. I strongly denounce these serious, racist and contemptuous remarks, ” the Franco-Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba  protested on his Facebook page.

This was back in April but I’ve only just found out about it.


Togo: cops kill man during clashes between festival-goers and cops enforcing social distancing


France: the latest madness – bans on sharing food and socialising, etc.

“We certainly live in a difficult atmosphere: … intensified repression of everything that is human (even including the simplest of pleasures), increased confusion and isolation, of separated people’s ego battles, crazy addictions and depression…” 14th April 2018here. What was true two and a half years ago has now reached levels of social control that Hitler or Stalin only dreamt about (though obviously the repression is subtler, not so blatantly barbaric, it’s also more intrusive on basic everyday life in an unprecedented way).


UK: Breaking self-isolation to be made illegal with fines of up to £10,000

“So Prime Minister Boris Johnson is changing the law from Monday 28 September to force anyone who gets a positive test or is contacted by the Test and Trace system and told they may have the virus to isolate. Fines for breaches will start at £1,000 – but could rise to £10,000 for repeat offences and for the most egregious exceptions. The penalties can also be dished out to those preventing others from self-isolating – such as bosses who threaten staff who cannot go to work because they are isolating with redundancy. At the same time, a £500 lump sum is being offered to those who need to isolate and will lose money as a result of not working, are on benefits and cannot do their job from home.”

Note the 3rd sentence:  “ penalties can also be dished out to …bosses who threaten staff who cannot go to work because they are isolating with redundancy”. “Can” is the operative word – whether they will be or not is another question.

As for  France –  see the latest developments in what I’ve written here:   “Taliban take over Nice, France”.


Australia: an example of how pathetically reactive Leftists are, how  when Hitler’s scientists said that smoking leads to cancer, hypothetically they’d have declared themselves in favour of the tobacco industry


Argentina, Cordoba: riot and hunger strike in prison; prisoners demand early release, resolution of delayed cases and house arrest amidst deterioration of Coronavirus health conditions


Received: 2 articles on vaccines –

This, from a Green EU politician,  states that the European Union, on 10th July 2020, gave the go-ahead for the production of Genetically Modified vaccines without verifying, through experiments, any environmental or health safeguard!!! This means the whole world – or at least EU countries –  have  been explicitly transformed into guinea pigs. Meanwhile, this story that hit the headlines for 5 minutes before being buried under endless pictures of people not maintaining social distancing,  reports “The Oxford coronavirus vaccine trial is facing a “challenge”, the health secretary has admitted, after it was put on hold due to a suspected serious adverse reaction in one of its volunteers…The nature of the adverse reaction and when it happened are not currently known.” Not hard to recognise what might happen if GM vaccines are permitted without even standard trials which are not even a guarantee of much safety anyway (eg the hundred thousand or so people each year who die in the US from totally “safe” – ho ho – drugs, drugs that have passed these standard tests). And these scum complain chloraquine has not been subjected to any “scientific” health experiments. Certainly further proof that this crisis is an opportunity for the maniacs who  rule us to do things that they think they could not do before. See this for an elaboration of what I’ve written here.



Lebanon, Roumieh: riots in prison as 13 prisoners and 9 guards are tested positive for Coronavirus

“Unrest stirs as positive coronavirus cases were detected in Lebanon’s biggest and most overcrowded Roumieh Prison. As all of Lebanon experiences a surge in cases, local media reported that 13 Roumieh inmates and 9 guards tested positive for the Coronavirus disease. On Sunday evening, prisoners staged a riot to protest the neglect of inmates whose lives are threatened by the poor conditions at the prison. The head of the Beirut Bar Association, Melhem Khalaf, described the situation at Roumieh as a “time bomb.” Inmates and their families previously protested the lack of measures being taken to prevent the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus, before any cases were confirmed. Now that the disease is inside the prison, the situation is critical as it can lead to a complete health disaster”


2 Belgian articles on masks, Google Translated:

While the measures taken in Belgium making it compulsory to wear a mask in many public places seem to go without saying for some, many doubts remain as to their real effectiveness. At Kairos, we are in contact with doctors who have opinions contrasting with the official voice. We relay their analyzes and concerns.

The mask saga has kept us busy all spring and continues to do so. Tragicomic or shameful depending on the reading that each citizen was kind enough to give it. Useless to compulsory in all places and all circumstances, the reversal of politicians’ jackets has been well known to us since Jacques Dutronc’s song. The inconstancy of those we call experts is, on the other hand, a new phenomenon which surprises and is obviously likely to encourage politicians to vary their messages over time and to destabilize citizens who, more often than not, come down to following their judgment. own or that of his next door neighbor. Can this versatility in the scientific world be explained? To issue a scientific opinion on the risk-benefit of a medical intervention, whether it is a drug, a medical device (prostheses, pace-maker, implant, etc.) or a preventive gesture, requires a structured approach: appointment of experts, evaluation procedure and consensus opinion. Are these 3 essential elements met in the case of wearing a mask as an element in the fight against Covid-19?
Procedures and conflicts of interest? Move along, there’s nothing to see !

The Prime Minister formed her group of experts on April 6, called the GEES [the group of experts preparing Belgium’s exit strategy from the coronavirus lockdown] on the basis of a deep belief in collective intelligence. Contrary to what one might think, it is not only a question of scientists since we also find Johnny Thijs, director of companies such as Electrabel and Pierre Wunsch, governor of the National Bank of Belgium and a long-time Reyndersian. A mixed composition cleverly designed to qualify the opinions of scientific experts. The Prime Minister’s website also says nothing about the procedure for appointing this group or any conflicts of interest of its members, which does not bode well in terms of transparency. One of the missions of the GEES is to “provide analyzes and recommendations”. This therefore implies a description of the evaluation procedures used as each time this type of work is carried out within, for example, scientific societies or the drug reimbursement commission. Here again, the Première’s site is silent.

Let us come to the masks and the successive recommendations. On January 28, the Soir-titre: “wearing a mask is useless and ineffective according to the Belgian health authorities”. Marc Van Ranst, future member of the GEES and Steven Van Gucht, spokesperson for the government express that “it is useless and is even potentially dangerous”. On April 5, the day before the constitution of the GEES, the Minister of Health Maggie De Block communicated that “wearing a mask scientifically does not make sense”. Other scientists will gradually argue against his positions. On April 24, the GEES issues a strategic report for the deconfinement. Wearing a mask is strongly recommended in public spaces from the age of 12, but not yet compulsory. The scientific basis for this recommendation is not disclosed. At the end of April, Erika Vlieghe, who chairs the GEES, says in the Morgen that “the mask is a layer of varnish”. Finally, on July 17, a new report recommends wearing masks even indoors when spaces bring many people together for extended periods of time and social distancing cannot be respected. This new report tells us that could last until after winter, with the arrival of a vaccine.

It does not seem that opinions are necessarily unanimous or the subject of a consensus within the GEES, which is not surprising given its composition. Is there a scientific basis for these changes in opinion? Traditionally, for decades, we have relied on making scientific recommendations on what is called evidence-based medicine. The highest level of evidence which allows a strong level of recommendation is obtained by obtaining multiple studies of high methodological quality comparing an option A to an option B and which allows the recommendation that a treatment or a procedure is beneficial, useful and efficient, this which means that it presents a favorable cost-benefit. The lowest level of evidence is obtained on the basis of expert opinion or small, non-comparative studies.

What about wearing the generalized mask in a Covid-19 situation and what justifies the change in position of the GEES? On March 3, the Cochrane research group, the pope of evidence-based medicine, a non-profit association of 28,000 scientists in more than 100 countries, published that “if certain gestures such as washing your hands or wearing gloves or a mask can perhaps reducing the spread of respiratory viruses the evidence is very low ”. Another systematic study published this year by Marasinghe of the University of Waterloo in Canada also concludes that there is no evidence of the benefit of compulsory mask wearing. Since then, only a German publication using a model comparing several regions where the compulsory wearing of the mask has been introduced goes in a different direction, but here again the level of evidence is insufficient.
What should we conclude from this?

1. There is no sufficiently established scientific argument today to impose the wearing of a mask on the entire population.

2. Recommendations issued to the public by a group of experts must be justified by proven and strong scientific evidence. This is not the case with the GEES.

3. These recommendations must be transparent and the evidence on which they are based must be accessible to all. In their absence, the recommendations are likely to confuse the population, inducing rebellious behavior linked to a strong loss of confidence. The risk of accelerated spread of the virus is significant. There is also a great risk of seeing scientists who are not part of the GEES express divergent opinions in the media, further accentuating the public’s unease. This is what is happening today.

4. The current strategic option goes totally against the evolution of modern medicine: the concept of “one size fits all” is completely outdated. Different recommendations must be given to subgroups of society: health professionals, frail people, asymptomatic carriers and relatives of infected patients.

5. Experts need to provide a precise risk-benefit analysis of the systematic wearing of the mask for each of these groups.

6. The opinions issued must be in consultation with neighboring countries in view of the easy access to the media of these countries by citizens. A cacophony of recommendations also has an extremely detrimental effect on compliance with them. This is what we can observe with France in particular.

7. Finally, we may be surprised that no study has been initiated at European level on the usefulness of wearing a mask in view of the lack of scientific evidence and the particularly high cost of this strategy. The virulent criticism of Professor Raoult’s essays, imperfect though they were, contrasts sharply with a strategy based on the scientific vacuum with regard to the wearing of the mask. It is far from certain that such a study would come out positive, but at least we would be fixed. As if we already considered that only a vaccine can save us all and that it is necessary to maintain the anxiety of the wider population in order to guarantee mass vaccination of the carpet bombing type, in view of the colossal investments to which the European community has largely contributed.

– Cardiologist, anonymous

2nd article:

The mask: a great opportunity to argue, to divide us, and to leave the field even more open to the power of experts and States. Because while some talk about health, others think about politics. Basically, is it so incompatible?

It would be easy to begin this article with the beautiful “inversion of the genitive” which has so much more to Marx and Engels: from the philosophy of misery to the misery of philosophy, and so on, to the Situationists who have used it. to satiety. However, if the policy of the mask is indeed a way of masking politics, it is not just any policy that masks the mask, but a specific policy. Unveiling what, in our opinion, wears the mask and which is hidden behind can only have the first consequence of separating us from a few comrades who will wear, or not, the mask, and will have, on the mask again and again, a practical position. different from ours.

This is the first success of the mask policy: far from being primarily a health barrier, it is above all a subject of discussion, and even better (for the authorities): of disputes. And these disputes, in the climate of chaos and inconsistencies and fears that is that of this year 2020 – and which is likely to intensify even further in the future since it has been at least half a century since the Fear is the basis of politics – of these disputes, therefore, it is very likely that discordances will appear such that they will amplify to divisions or even schism.

Therein lies the master stroke: if some think that the health policy of social distancing is so crucial that it must transcend the divisions between us to somehow reconstitute a human species fighting all in concert for its own preservation, and this even if the price to pay is called precisely social distancing – and in reality the rupture of a number of social ties -, then we can without much risk prophesy that those who will think “on the margins” and will not believe in the virtues of the mask as a tool of reconstruction of humanity will find themselves even more on the margins: stigmatized as enemies. Not class enemies, because it has been a long time since the recomposition of the (proletarian) class was abandoned by its very singers. The stigmatized-marginalized will be referred to simply as enemies of mankind. Even life.

In the politics of the mask, we see above all the mask of a certain policy, that which brandishes health fear, which creates fear through inconsistency, and therefore a real politics of fear. It is of course the fear of health that justifies the measures, but it is easy to show that the health policy itself is inconsistent. We wear a mask, and we have to wear it in some closed places, but some closed places are more prone to virus exchange than others. Trains, for example, usually group together travelers who share a route or a portion of a route, but before arriving at the station of departure? and after exiting the arrival station? These travelers may be carriers of viruses from afar, or take viruses contracted on the train with them when they get off the train, far from their place of origin. However, and to limit the commercial abyss of the railways in 2020, travelers are not subjected, on the trains, to measures of social distancing as rigorous as in other places which are sometimes less closed. Everyone will be able to complete the list of inconsistencies at their leisure, and possibly be satisfied with a basic banality: even if the mask is not used very much, this is never a reason not to do everything possible where we can in the goal of avoiding spreading the epidemic. Certainly, but this is where the bottom line of the mask policy comes into play: it only aims to increase the level of fear even further, at a time when the epidemic itself seems to be stalling, at least in Europe. It is not the mask itself that increases the level of fear, since it would, conversely, calm some people; what is scary is to see, all around us, all these masked people, while our imagination, and even our simple condition of living beings, invites us from eternity not to mask ourselves. If carnival offers us this possibility, it is precisely because carnival is a reversal of the usual order of norms. Could it be that the standards of our society are being overthrown? Especially not: the power of experts remains very strong, and that of States does not waver …

But if the mask is first of all the mask of a policy, the question is necessarily: was the mask imposed for health reasons, or to increase the level of fear? The second option will necessarily be qualified as “conspiratorial”, a term whose success has not been denied since September 11, 2001. Once again, the division is shaping up between us, who are to varying degrees opponents of the politics of the fear – in the absence, precisely, of being all of them to the politics of the mask. To free ourselves from this sort of semantic and political trap, let’s offer another point of view.

Among the front-line supporters of the mask, some are driven by simple health considerations, others by the banal idea that it is better to take all precautions regardless of the cost in terms of freedoms; a few others, genuinely cynical, try to stay in power by increasing fear. Let us note first of all that, in this last square, there can be both politicians and scientists, without forgetting of course the pharmaceutical trusts which also have everything to gain from this pandemic anyway. But the most important thing is that, finally, the compulsory wearing of the mask brings together these three main categories of people, all favorable to the mask, and that it is thus, whatever we may think of its health utility, a good tool to expand the policy of profiling, population control. And it does not matter, it does not even matter at all whether those who make the final decisions do so out of health concerns, out of a desire to cover themselves up a priori or out of outright political cynicism. The result is there: the end justifies the means.

In this case, we believe that no end can justify abject means, but it is an indisputable fact that “in the face”, this kind of questioning does not exist. So we are not fighting on exactly the same ground, and not at all with the same weapons.

How, then, to counter the control policy that the mask embodies? We could “over mask” ourselves, and wear for example, over the regulatory mask, that of Anonymous, Guy Fawkes (“V for Vendetta”). The answer sounds pretty consistent, doesn’t it? But this is strictly forbidden, in France at least (it is forbidden to hide the whole face, says the law). Above all, we could decide that since wearing a mask is anti-human, we might as well develop our human activities, properly human, all those that do not imply compulsory compliance with the ban.

And finally overturn the ban like a glove: we refuse the obligation to wear a mask and we will do everything possible to do without “closed places” where it is compulsory to wear it. Thus, we will no longer go to the theater but will do theater in the street; we will no longer go to the cinema but will screen films outdoors. And since we have to go to the supermarket to feed ourselves, we might as well develop collective market gardening, collective orchards, and so on.

As for the much thornier problem of the school, why not create our own schools? Because the laws absolutely do not prohibit it, and in France for example, there are very few legal constraints to create a school.

Of course, these few avenues are still very broad, even vague or difficult to implement. But the object of this text, more practical than theoretical, was to show the coherence of the ecological project, based on the refusal to achieve, decreasing, slow in the sense that this word has acquired in recent years, marked by voluntary simplicity, the ” small is beautiful ”by Schumacher.

The state, by the inconsistency of its decisions, does not disqualify what we are fighting for. And that’s a great thing because in the final analysis it’s simple proof that we’re right. As someone who may not have bought into these words once said, “History will absolve us.” Magnificent perspective!

Philippe godard


Australia, Melbourne: clashes with cops on anti-lockdown protests


Berlin: ‘Anti-corona’ gangs try to storm German parliament

Apparently what galvanised them was that somebody opportunistically (and falsely) announced that “Trump is here, in Berlin!” “He is in a hermetically sealed room in the American Embassey!” or words to that effect. The presence of the Führer – the American Führer – any Führer – and they  go mad and think they can seize power!  91% of the Germans polled about these people in Berlin were unsympathetic, but undoubtedly there’s a massive problem here. However, it doesn’t help to clarify things, to recognise what is valid amongst the crazy irrationality,  by dismissing them all as loonies. See below.

UK: Millionaire ex-Trot, brother of Jeremy Corbyn, fined £10,000 for organising anti-lockdown demo

It seems that the Right, mixing truth and fiction, are the prime recuperators of the misery of the bullshit being spewed out and clogging the brains and actions of the vast majority of people.   There’s a partial, crudely, stupidly and irrationally expressed, truth to the so-called libertarians of the right, just as there’s a partial truth to those on the left who only focus on the obvious – lack of beds, lack of tests, let the old die, hospital privatisation, forcing people to work in unsanitary conditions. etc. One side is conspiratorialist (of which QAnon is one of the mor insane examples), ignoring that Covid, however much its danger is exaggerated, is very real and not deliberately spread;  the other complains that the state isn’t offering a protection that it somehow should or could. Ideology invariably reduces complex reality to a simplistic understanding of events, and the Covid crisis has unleashed especially intensified expressions of this. But what’s clear is that confusion and fear act like a dense fog to prevent people seeing, thinking and acting critically against the Big Brother Covid1984 state in any coherent manner. “… the resignation of people to a fate that is so far out of their control that the very existence of the planet is far from certain, hinging on the prudence and skill of inscrutable strategists. This in turn reinforces a more general resignation to the existing order, to the coexisting powers of the specialists who organize this fate…rigid logic… only responds to one aspect of the contradictory needs of the society of alienation, whose indissoluble project is to prevent people from living while it organizes their survival…If this system were to go to the point of bluntly proclaiming that it imposes such an empty and hopeless existence that the best solution for everyone would be to go hang themselves, it would still succeed in managing a healthy and profitable business by producing standardized ropes. But regardless of all its capitalist wealth,  the concept of survival means suicide on the installment plan, a renunciation of life every day.” – here


Received – a “Democracy Watch” newsletter,  which, including its ideological stance,  has some “factual” takes on things with which I disagree significantly; however it provides some horrific, but useful, information (I’ve not included stuff that has no direct relation to the “pandemic”):

Saudi border guards killed dozens of Ethiopian refugees in April. But only now are details emerging.

As the pandemic struck in Yemen, Houthi groups forced thousands of Ethiopian migrants to the country’s northern border, claiming the virus as justification. They killed dozens in the process.

As the survivors arrived at the border, Saudi guards killed dozens more. Others fled into the mountains, spending days without food or water. Hundreds were then allowed into Saudi Arabia, only to be detained in conditions that Human Rights Watch described as “appalling”.

Around the world, the pandemic is being used to attack democracy, human rights and civil liberties – and, in some cases, human life itself. In this DemocracyWatch newsletter openDemocracy and SourceMaterial gather together cases from around the world…

  • Chile Police are training dogs to identify people with coronavirus by smell.
  • UN agencies have warned that around 818 million children are at increased risk of being infected with COVID-19 when schools without handwashing facilities reopen. In 2019, 43% of schools worldwide had no facilities for basic handwashing with soap and water – more than a third of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Millions of women and girls have lost access to contraceptives and abortion services because of the coronavirus pandemic, Marie Stopes International has warned. The organisation expects 900,000 more unintended pregnancies than usual worldwide, along with an extra 1.5 million unsafe abortions and more than 3,000 additional maternal deaths.
    • Violence and harassment have “put health care workers in harm’s way at a time when they are needed the most”, according to the Red Cross as it highlighted 600 cases linked to the pandemic.
    • Conspiracy theories, fake cures and scapegoating have led to hundreds of deaths around the world during the pandemic, according to one report.
  • Asia/Pacific

    • Sri Lanka More than 66,000 people have been arrested for violating curfew in a little over two months. A violent crackdown on dissent has intensified under the government’s highly militarised response to the pandemic, including contact-tracing undertaken by intelligence agencies.
    • India 1.3 million women have lost access to contraceptives and abortion services because of the pandemic and the country’s abrupt months-long lockdown, according to a report by Marie Stopes International.
    • India Millions of migrant workers, forced to return to rural homelands for lockdown, have lost the meagre economic gains they had made due to enforcement of the caste system ‘back home’.
    • India/Kashmir One in five prisoners at the largest jail in Indian-administered Kashmir has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the authorities.
    • Thailand Since the imposition of an emergency decree on 26 March, officials have increasingly detained peaceful protestors, who also face intensifying harassment and intimidation by police officers.
    • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has postponed the upcoming election by four weeks in response to a recent spike in coronavirus cases.
    • Tonga The Ministry of Communications has quietly issued new media regulations. Media groups said they undermine the constitution, which guarantees press freedom, and called it a strategic move to clamp down on independent reporting while flying the fake news flag.
    • Afghanistan COVID-19 has made the situation of the more than 4 million internally displaced people, many living in overcrowded camps, much worse.
    • Middle East and North Africa

      • Saudi Arabia/Yemen In April, Houthi soldiers forcibly expelled thousands of Ethiopian migrants using the excuse of the pandemic. Houthis killed dozens of the Ethiopians, and Saudi border guards killed dozens more as they were forced to cross the border.
      • Morocco The pandemic is expected to throw a million Moroccans into poverty, a new report has found.
      • Israel Communication minister Yoaz Hendel remonstrated with the public after stories emerged of people switching their cellphones to airplane mode or using prepaid ‘burner’ SIM cards to ensure they’d be missed by track-and-trace apps.
      • Africa

        • Kenya The Court of Appeal has ruled to not suspend laws restricting freedom of speech about the pandemic, despite an appeal filed by the Law Society of Kenya.
        • Zimbabwe A court has barred human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa from representing Hopewell Chin’ono, effectively stripping the journalist of his constitutional right to a lawyer of his choice. Chin’ono was arrested on 20 July for reporting on alleged COVID-19 procurement fraud within the country’s Ministry of Health.
        • Ghana A soldier has attacked journalists Stanley Nii Blewu and Joseph Armstrong Gold-Alorgbey while they were covering a local sanitation project. The soldier also confiscated the reporters’ camera and phones.
        • South Africa Tobacco firms have launched lawsuits against the government over its ban on the sale of tobacco products and alcohol during the lockdown.
        • South Africa Authorities are investigating government departments for irregularities in coronavirus-related tenders worth $290 million.
        • Senegal The offices of the newspaper Les Echos were vandalised by followers of the religious leader and politician Serigne Moustapha. The newspaper had reported that he had been hospitalised with the coronavirus.
        • Tanzania A new law prohibits citizens from speaking online about a recent earthquake that shook the country as well as about the pandemic. People face fines around $2,151 or twelve-month imprisonment under the regulations, which prohibit certain topics without government approval.
        • Angola Police have killed a 23-year-old while enforcing confinement measures.
        • Angola The president of the Angolan Network of AIDS Service Organisations has warned the fight against HIV/AIDS is experiencing great difficulties and an increase in cases as COVID-19 has diverted the government’s attention.
        • Kenya Sexual abuse of women and girls is on the rise during the pandemic leading to a “an epidemic of pregnant girls”.
        • Mali After months of protest over a worsening economy, disputed elections, alleged corruption and the arrival of the pandemic, a group of soldiers has overthrown the president.
        • Americas

          • Bolivia and South America The government has backed the medical use of the bleaching agent chlorine dioxide as a coronavirus treatment. It is just one of several unproven and potentially dangerous treatments gaining ground in the region.
          • US President Trump has attacked without evidence the government agency that oversees the safety of vaccine development, claiming that members of the “deep state” at the agency are deliberately slowing progress so a vaccine would not be available until after the November elections.
          • Venezuela At least twelve health workers were detained for speaking out about the pandemic. According to Amnesty International, Venezuela is the only country in the region that has arrested health workers and brought them before military and civil tribunals.
          • Venezuela Washington has granted the Venezuelan opposition access to millions of dollars of frozen government funds to fight the pandemic.
          • Peru Thirteen people have been killed in a stampede at a nightclub in Lima during a police raid to enforce lockdown measures. At least six others were injured, including three police officers, as about 120 people tried to flee the party.
          • Argentina Protesters have brought parts of the capital Buenos Aires to a standstill by calling for an end to months of lockdown.
          • Europe

            • UK The government has been accused of allowing the pandemic to strip basic rights from prisoners.
            • Germany Demonstrators at lockdown protests have repeatedly attacked and obstructed journalists covering the demonstrations.
            • Russia State censors have filed cases against the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta for reporting on COVID-19 outbreaks in Chechnya and the Russian army.

            • UK Contracts for COVID projects worth hundreds of millions of pounds have been handed out to firms without a proper tendering process, in what one MP has called “the biggest privatisation in National Health Service history”.

            • UK £18.9 billion of the government’s bailout scheme have been distributed to companies that have engaged in fraud, corruption, environmental destruction, chemical weapons manufacturing and selling weapons to governments accused of human rights violations.

            • UK Illegal evictions and harassment have almost tripled in London’s shadow rental market during the lockdown, according to new figures collated by charity Safer Renting.

            • UK Cramped conditions in some food production factories and in low-paid workers’ homes may have driven infection rates in the sector, a leading health expert has warned.

            • Italy Agricultural workers, mostly Sikhs from India, whose labour is vital to the country’s food production, face abuse and exploitation by agri-businesses and organised crime amid the coronavirus pandemic.

            • Greece The government has allegedly expelled at least 1,072 asylum seekers secretly from European borders in recent months, with many of them sailed to the edge of Greek territorial waters and then abandoned in sometimes overloaded life rafts.

            • Turkey The Radio and Television Supreme Council has fined TV channel KRT for featuring a guest who criticised the government’s COVID-19 response….

            • Brazil 2020 has seen another record-breaking year for burning of the Amazon as the global scrutiny of 2019 is diminished by the pandemic.


China: used & abused and then to be made thankful for the privilege

“At a video meeting of the Novel Epidemic Prevention and Control Command on the evening of March 6, newly stationed Hubei Provincial Party Standing Committee member and Party Secretary Wang Zhonglin touted “gratitude education” for the people of Wuhan. At that time, the city had been under lockdown for 43 days and had seen 49,871 confirmed cases and 2,349 deaths.

We must undertake gratitude education throughout the city, so that the populace is grateful to the General Secretary and to the Communist Party, listens to the Party, follows the Party, and forms strong positive energy… The people of Wuhan are heroic people. They are also people who know how to be grateful….

Many in Wuhan were infuriated to hear that they were supposed to be “grateful” for the government’s gross mismanagement of the outbreak, from suppressing warnings from doctors who identified the first cases to heavy-handed lockdowns, like the one in Hubei that effectively quarantined over 50 million people:

What can I say? I’m grateful I haven’t been killed, I guess… Thank you, Master, for your extraordinary kindness.. Grateful, I’m not so sure, but I do wish the best for eight generations of your ancestors… even the destruction is a blessing”

more brutal uses of Covid – here, to intensify misery for the Uighurs

“Internet users complained they had been chained to buildings when they attempted to leave their homes. One said they had been kept in a quarantine centre for two months and had been required to take the medicine Lianhua Qingwen, an herbal remedy China has been promoting as a treatment for Covid-19. A relative of one family in Urumqi told the Guardian their family had been given the medicine every day but was not forced to drink it. Videos posted online by internet users purported to show residents screaming from their apartment windows in frustration. The video could not be verified but a notice posted online from one residential compound warned that anyone who participated in the “roaring” activity on 23 August had committed an “illegal act”. “Residents should strengthen their sense of social responsibility to prevent them from being used by those with evil intentions and lead to wrong guidance of public opinion,” it said. Other posts said residents were warned that everything from social credit rating to their children’s school admissions could be affected.”

See   this about Lianhua Qingwen


Belgium, Brussels: drones to surveille and enforce corona measures in market area  (not mentioned in the report is that people usually take off their masks as soon as they’re inside the premises)


Spain, Andalucia: fines of up to 600,000 euros for non-compliance with Covid regulations

Note use of words like ‘resistance’ and ‘obstruction’ in the section on the heaviest fines. Andalucia is ruled by the governing parties – Socialist Workers Party and Podemos. A friend told me that she knew an old guy  who said that life had been  less suffocating under Franco.


France, Marseille: 130 CRS police compulsory mask-wearing throughout all streets and public places in hot summer temperatures

Riot cops imposing the fines! Ve haf vays of making you healthy! If you want to wear a mask that’s sufficient protection if you feel you need it (apparently, though, it has to be agood one that clips above the nose so as to prevent small specks of god possibly infecting the wearer). But do you really get any extra protection forcing others to wear it? If masks are efficient then surely your own mask is sufficient. Masks make you breathe your own bacteria and carbon dioxide. The state has cut 70,000 public hospital beds in the last 15 years under Chirac, Sarkozy, Hollande and Macron. The tests are not at all reliable (recently I heard of 3 nursing home staff being tested positive; 2 days later they were found to be negative). They had virtually no masks available during lockdown (even most hospital staff had to provide their own). Masks make communication – even over the most functional things – more difficult -= often you have to shout to be heard; and they make everyone more irritable and pushed inside their own irritated heads. Mind you they do give every obedient and  normally silent Good Citizen the chance to talk to strangers – “Put your mask on properly! – Keep your distance! – Calm down!”.  Meanwhile, the state   does everything to suppress the application of the precise recipe and dosage of the mix of hydroxychloraquine and the antibiotic azithromycine that Dr.Raoult has used with great success (him and  his team have cured 99.55% of the patients tested positive for the virus, whereas other hospitals in Marseille have had 6 times as many deaths proportionate to those tested positive – ie 0.45% mortality for Raoult’s hospital as against 2.7% for other hospitals there – see this).  Countries like Senegal  that use his precise recipe – unlike Brazil – have also had great success with it. But there’s plenty of money for the filth, just as there’ll be for the pharmaceutical industry.  Now there’s a surprise! Which is not to say that some of Raoult’s statements are dubious (for instance, he says it’s about as bad as the flu – which may be true for the South of France, but not France as a whole unless you compare with the high figure for 1969-70, which had more fatalities  than Covid and in a far shorter time span).

The South of France has some of the lowest mortality rates for the virus in Europe. In Occitanie, where I live, officially there’ve been 518 deaths from it. In 2016 there were (officially)  2300 deaths from flu in Occitanie. Not, of course, the same everywhere.   Previous winter flus (apart from ’69-’70) have not been as high as Covid, perhaps because of the widespread use of vaccines for flu, though vaccines are not invariably advisable (or, for that matter, to be dogmatically opposed).


Coming soon! – “Covid2”“Just when you thought it was safe to go over the border…”


Report from Brussels on masks:

Here in Brussels it’s mandatory to wear masks in all public spaces and private spaces for public use (stores etc.), outside or inside, but many people ignore it when they are in their own neighborhood or where there’s no police etc. But it depends on the neighborhood: in more white/European neighborhoods people are more obedient. In any case, I have the feeling that many people here agree that the mask thing is a kind of masquerade to cover for the authorities and experts’ lack of real knowledge or proper handling of the situation, at least that what I heard in several “random” street interviews they put on the news, and from what I hear of random conversations of people in supermarkets and the streets etc.

But I think the enforcement here, at least where I hang-around, is less severe than in France. Having said that, this is what happened in a popular neighborhood last weekend:

“Yesterday evening, around 1am Mandy, Inaa and I suffered police violence in the Parvis de St Gilles. We were leaving Verschueren (a bar) when a guy gave us his thoughts about our outfits, some sexist remarks… So Mandy put this sucker in his place and told him it was not right. At that moment, a police car passing by asked us to put on our masks. We tell them that some guys are pissing us off on the streets and that they could come and help us rather than deal with the masks. From there they get out of the car (all dressed in civilian clothes), briefly tell the guy to stop and then ask for our ID cards. Mandy barely has time to take her ID out when she gets caught in the throat and pinned against a wall by the policewoman (the commissioner of the Parvis Saint-Gilles police station) who has repeatedly punched her in the face. Ina and I then try to calm things down, shocked by the police violence towards Mandy but the police officers are just as violent towards us. They pull us, push us, they continue to hold Mandy by the neck (who tries to defend herself as best she can with 6 cops around her busy assaulting her). So she was held by her arm and shoulder to immobilize her and shouted several times “I’m in pain!” but the policeman did not let go, Mandy noticed an injury and suffered a contusion on her left shoulder. I then saw a phone on the ground so I picked it up so it wouldn’t get trampled by everyone and held it up in the air asking who it belonged to, someone then took it from my hands (the police later accused her of stealing their phone). That’s when they decided to take Mandy to the police station. At the same time the commissioner accuses me of stealing her phone, she begins to grab hold of my clothes and decides to take me to the police station as well. We were held for several hours at the police station where we were questioned by several police officers as well as the commissioner who spoke impassively to us.
Commissioner: “At the same time, with outfits like that, we shouldn’t be surprised. There are areas where you can’t dress like that if you don’t want to be noticed.” High class, Madam Commissioner!

While we were being interrogated at the police station, Ina, who was waiting for us outside, was sitting trying to calm herself down when suddenly 3 police cars arrived to pin her to the ground and handcuff her. They threw her like a trash can in the car to take her to the Anderlecht barracks. She was placed in a cell with fighting men.

After a while at the police station as she writhed in pain, the police finally took her to the hospital. The diagnosis revealed that her wrist was broken as well as her elbow.

Here are also some comments that were made by a police officer while she was at the police station: “the monkeys stay in a cage, I’m going home”.

This is what we experienced during the night from Saturday to Sunday August 16, 2020 because a guy assaulted us in the street and we wanted to ask the police for help…
This is what happens when 3 young girls are assaulted in the street, they ask for help from the police but end up at the police station and are mistreated and hit by the police…”

Two other young men who were trying to film the scene were also attacked: the first was seized and his phone thrown to the ground, the second was chased home and then brought back to the police station where a police officer crushed his private parts in order to force him to delete the video, he was not released until the morning.


There was a protest against the sexist police violence of the Uneus brigade in St. Gilles, Brussels reported above:
[in Dutch, but includes video]
Indymedia report
Les violences policières étaient l’œuvre d’UNEUS, une brigade crée en 2012 par le Bourgmestre socialiste Charles Piqué. Cette brigade, aux méthodes ultra-répressives, racistes et sexistes, est un acteur majeur de la criminalisation des classes populaires du bas de Saint-Gilles. Elle compte à son actifs de nombreuses faits de violences, d’agressions et harcèlements.
Between 100 and 200 people, mainly women, demonstrated early Saturday evening in Saint-Gilles, in the Brussels Region. They were protesting against alleged police violence against three young women. They sought help from the officers, after being sexually intimidated by a man. But an altercation between the police and the young women ensued. Finally, they were arrested and fined.
The demonstrators chanted slogans such as “hysterical and scantily clad”, “dress like a cowboy”, “my body, my choice and shut up”, “the virus is Uneus” or once again “police everywhere, justice nowhere ”.
The demonstrators demand the closure of Uneus, the local police service of the Brussels-Midi police zone (Anderlecht, Saint-Gilles, Forest).
The demonstrators went to the police station and the town hall of Saint-Gilles. The organizers had asked the demonstrators to dress in light clothes.
After the incident with the police, the three women were taken to the police station where they were held for some time. According to them, a commissioner had told them not to be surprised by the sexist comments  being so “scantily dressed”. According to the young women, the police first asked them to wear their masks and show their ID cards, as they pleaded for help. After that, the tone rose. Police said the young women were drunk and caused a stir.


Venezuela and beyond: state’s use of the virus to crack down on dissent

“Globally, the world’s most authoritarian governments, in Venezuela and Nicaragua, Egypt, China and elsewhere, have treated the pandemic…as cover to broaden and intensify their efforts to clamp down on dissent and thwart the free spread of information — and not just about the pandemic…”


Monitoring being pitched to fight Covid-19 was tested on refugees


Questions about disease’s origins

“Experts have ruled out the idea that the pathogen was concocted as a bioweapon. They agree that it began as a bat virus that probably evolved naturally in another mammal to become adept at infecting and killing humans. But so far, after months of concentrated research at sites and laboratories in China and elsewhere around the globe, no clear intermediary has come to light. The first three of Dr. Lucey’s eight questions center on the Wuhan wet market — a sprawling marketplace that sold fresh fish and meat before being shut down. It was initially viewed as the viral point of origin. That idea was quickly thrown into doubt when a study by Chinese scientists reported that roughly a third of the earliest hospitalized victims — including the first — had never visited the market. In a May blog, Dr. Lucey quoted the head of China’s Center for Disease Control as ruling it out as the pandemic’s place of origin. The market, the Chinese health official said, “is just another victim.”…no direct evidence has come to light suggesting that the coronavirus escaped from one of Wuhan’s labs….Finally, Dr. Lucey asks the W.H.O. team to learn more about China’s main influenza research lab, a high-security facility in Harbin, the capital of China’s northernmost province. In May, he notes, a Chinese paper in the journal Science reported that two virus samples from Wuhan were studied there in great detail early this year, including in a variety of animals. It reported that cats and ferrets were highly susceptible to the pathogen; dogs were only mildly susceptible; and pigs, chickens and ducks were not susceptible at all.”


Just received: “Inside the Invasive, Secretive “Bossware” Tracking Workers”, particularly post-Covid teleworkers

“COVID-19 has pushed millions of people to work from home, and a flock of companies offering software for tracking workers has swooped in to pitch their products to employers across the country. The services often sound relatively innocuous. Some vendors bill their tools as “automatic time tracking” or “workplace analytics” software. Others market to companies concerned about data breaches or intellectual property theft. We’ll call these tools, collectively, “bossware.” While aimed at helping employers, bossware puts workers’ privacy and security at risk by logging every click and keystroke, covertly gathering information for lawsuits, and using other spying features …”

Leading critic of china’s handling of coronavirus crisis taken into state terrorist custody


A mix of articles on an organic food site; worth looking at “Brazen Lies”

“Peter Daszak is on a mission to deflect attention away from any role EcoHealth Alliance may have had in creating the coronavirus pandemic. But he’s not stopping there. He also wants to paint anyone who questions the mainstream narrative as a “conspiracy theorist.” According to this article in GM Watch, Daszak was project leader on a $3.7-million grant supporting bat coronavirus surveillance, and bat coronavirus gain-of-function research at Wuhan Institute of Virology. (Gain-of-function research is a method of studying viruses to make them more virulent and/or more transmissible). Daszak, who’s been all over the media, is being painted by some as a hero. But many credible scientists aren’t buying it. In fact, he’s even been labeled by one scientist as “Patient Zero for misinformation.” The last thing the world needs right now—if we hope to prevent future pandemics—is more misinformation. Read ‘Why are the lab escape denialists telling such brazen lies?’

Having pointed out this article though, doesn’t mean I think it matters whether the virus escaped from a lab or not. The main point, as with all “conspiracy theories”, is not the precise origins of this or that catastrophe/atrocity etc., but how capital and the state use such events, and how the rest of us react to it.  In the case of the above organisation its reaction to the possiblity of Covid having spread from an apparent “biowarfare” lab is to launch a petition to stop such things in the future, about as useful as whitewashing your windows when a nuclear bomb is 4 minutes away from you.



Tesla gave workers permission to stay home rather than risk getting covid-19. Then it sent termination notices.

X writes:

“This is so perfect in epitomizing the spirit of our modern entremanures: Musk promised no recriminations for staying home out of (wholly legitimate) fear of the coronavirus, and then he sacked all of the workers who took his offer at face value.

I hereby nominate Elon Musk for this years recipient of the Reinhard Heydrich award in managerial perfidity.”

A day before their employment was threatened, two workers had spoken publicly of their concerns about conditions inside a plant


The Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)


Faiz Siddiqui

June 25, 2020 at 7:00 AM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO — When he defiantly reopened the company’s plant in Fremont, Calif., against county orders last month, Elon Musk promised Tesla employees they could stay home if they felt uneasy. They would not be penalized, he said.

If “you feel uncomfortable coming back to work at this time, please do not feel obligated to do so,” he wrote in an email sent to the company’s factory workers in early May that was viewed by The Washington Post.

Nonetheless, two Tesla workers say they received termination notices alleging a “failure to return to work” after they opted to take unpaid leave to protect themselves and their family members when the factory restarted production the second week of May.

The workers, Carlos Gabriel and Jessica Naro, said they both received the notices last week from Tesla’s human resources department citing their apparent failure to show up and the company’s inability to reach them. The workers provided evidence of their continuing correspondence with managers. They believe they received the notifications for speaking up about their concerns over working conditions at the plant.


Since they received the notices last week, both Gabriel and Naro said they have received calls from HR representatives. Naro was told she could come back, though she was prompted to offer a date of return.

Their concerns about safety are shared by a half-dozen workers who spoke with The Post, some on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing their jobs. They said that Tesla is failing to follow social distancing guidelines, with lax enforcement of rules concerning masks and sanitation of machinery. They also complain of little transparency by the company about new cases of infection, as well as its response.

Employees are “hovering over each other,” one worker said. Some workers disappear for two weeks and their peers are told they’re “sick,” without further explanation, another worker said. Supervisors cite health privacy law in not disclosing particular cases, but workers say Tesla hasn’t even described broadly how widespread the novel coronavirus is at the plant.


Already, workers at Tesla’s seat plant down the road from its main factory were told of two confirmed cases among workers on the morning and evening shifts, with at least three others exposed to the coronavirus.

Branton Phillips, who works on Tesla’s Model S sedan and Model X SUV lines, said he embarks on a daily ritual on returning from the plant: spraying down equipment and removing and bagging his clothes. He showers before saying hello to his wife, Shirley, who has diabetes and heart ailments. Phillips said he takes the risk into account but also needs to work to keep a steady paycheck.

He compared the lack of mask use at work to the push and pull of wearing them in areas across the country. “You’re reflecting what’s outside in the world inside the plant,” he added.

Tesla’s standoff, first with public health officials, then with its own workers, has become one of the most dramatic corporate battles taking place over the response to the global coronavirus pandemic. Musk and the company have argued that the work is essential, something the county disputed. Some workers say that the company’s opaque approach is endangering their lives to build cars.


Companies around the world are struggling to balance measures to limit the spread of the virus with the need to reopen. Amazon, for example, has kept its warehouses running as essential for supply, but dozens of cases have been reported there. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) Grocery stores, too, have seen a spread of cases.

Tesla and Alameda County, home to Tesla’s Fremont factory, have so far declined to say how many cases have been reported at the plant, which employs about 10,000.

Meanwhile, cases of the coronavirus are spiking in California. Alameda County, in particular, has been hit hard, recording some of the highest case numbers among California counties — with more than 5,000 total by this week.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment. Alameda County spokeswoman Neetu Balram said officials there were reviewing their policies to determine what type of outbreak-related information concerning Tesla could be released, given the public interest in the subject.


“Tesla is reporting their cases among employees directly to [the Alameda County Public Health Department] as required by their Site Specific Plan, which is also a requirement for all businesses that are reopening,” she said.

Though Tesla’s CEO has garnered a reputation for outspokenness on social media, the maker of electric cars is among the most secretive companies in Silicon Valley. Employees, like the broader public, are left to learn of Musk’s mind-set through his sporadic posts on Twitter, limited to 280 characters.

Initially, he dismissed the coronavirus panic as “dumb” in early March.

Shortly after, Alameda County enacted a sweeping stay-at-home order in mid-March, joining other Bay Area counties that were among the first in the country to take drastic measures aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus and covid-19, the illness it causes. Musk told employees in an email at the time that the factory would remain open and that he would personally report to work, but that they could stay home if they felt uncomfortable or ill.


Ultimately, city and county officials intervened, and Tesla agreed to wind down to the “minimum basic operations” allowed under the rules. But that wasn’t the end of the battle.

In late April, Musk went on an erratic tweetstorm that culminated in his writing “FREE AMERICA NOW” in response to widespread stay-at-home orders. He launched into an expletive-laden rant on the company’s earnings call the next day, labeling quarantine measures “fascist” and demanding that politicians return people’s “freedom.” Musk defiantly reopened the factory in early May, winning President Trump’s support as he bucked the county’s orders once more.

Ultimately, county officials backed down and agreed to allow Tesla to fully reopen May 18.

The Post reported earlier in June that workers at the factory’s seat assembly plant were told multiple colleagues had tested positive for the coronavirus — and Alameda County officials confirmed Tesla had reported coronavirus cases in Fremont. Laurie Shelby, Tesla’s vice president for environment, health and safety, told workers in an email that there had been no workplace transmissions of the virus, though it was unknown how the exact origin of each of the cases would have been determined.


Jane McAlevey, a union organizer who serves as senior policy fellow at the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education, said Musk’s treatment of his workforce has been typical of tech companies in Silicon Valley.

“He is causing untold problems for his workers,” she said. “He has stressed them out — there’s a huge history there before the covid crisis of health and safety violations. They’re saddled by the kind of promises and rushed production that get people hurt, and now he’s doing it again during a pandemic.”

Since learning of the cases, some workers say they’ve been beset by fear of coming down with covid-19. It’s a matter of particular concern on the vehicle production lines, where multiple workers touch components and share machinery. Some pool into an outdoor tent where they assemble cars.

At some meetings, workers stand three feet apart instead of six feet, one worker said. They rely on masks to keep them safe, the worker said, wearing them for up to 12 hours. Workers periodically sanitize equipment, particularly after breaks, but there’s little enforcement and “we hardly do that,” the worker said.


“It’s all a big aggravation,” said plant employee Phillips. “At the same time it’s hot and sweaty inside there, we’re working 11-hour days and we’re stressed out. It’s making for real — sometimes very — tense situations inside.”

These concerns have prompted some workers to stay home, comforted by Tesla’s promises that they could keep their job without pay in the interim. Ultimately, Gabriel and Naro, who were told they were being fired last week, believe Tesla’s actions were retaliation for their appearance this month at a news conference during which they spoke about conditions at the plant and their fear of returning to work. The San Jose Mercury News previously reported on Gabriel’s termination notice.

“Carlos, there is no need to feel that you are going to lose your job,” wrote Vince Woodard, Tesla’s acting human resources director, in a May email to Gabriel viewed by The Post. “If at this time you do not feel comfortable returning to work, you can stay home without penalty and take the time unpaid.”

A day after the June 15 news conference, however, Gabriel and Naro received emails from the company’s human resources department titled “Failure to Return to Work.” The company’s HR department informed them they would be let go. But they also could dispute the matter and be brought back on — but with the implication that they would have to return to work.


Naro and Gabriel said they both responded to the email. Naro was able to secure her job. Gabriel, who declined to speak with the human resources representative unless the call could be recorded or the conversation could be moved to email, said Tesla has lost his trust. He hasn’t heard back. He is convinced he has lost his position on the powertrain floor, where he installs battery packs on the Model S and X vehicles, because he cannot risk going back with the conditions he’s learned about.

“Some people don’t really care about wearing [personal protective equipment],” he said. “PPE is thrown on the ground after being used. People are afraid to go to the bathroom. People are afraid to eat.”

Naro, who has opted not to return because her 6-year-old son was hospitalized with a respiratory illness this year, said that with distancing requirements only loosely followed, it is unthinkable for her to work in the resulting conditions: hours-long shifts with shared machinery, in close quarters with others. She said she took Musk at his word in early May but thinks her job was threatened because she did so and then spoke out.

“I actually spoke with a [supervisor] … and he said, ‘Do you have any idea when you’re gonna be returning back?’ and I said, ‘When covid-19 is over.’ ” © 1996-2020 The Washington Post


Spain , Barcelona: rail passenger thrown down stairs for not wearing facemask


Spain: over 1 million fines handed out for breaking Coronavirus lockdown, with some of the most absurd pretexts for issuing them

“Nathalie Rose Kern, 37 from London, was fined €1000 for “walking too slowly” …”This is NOT how you walk to the bank. You are showing no urgency…” etc.etc.


Some pertinent links:

Below is a description and a link to a short article regarding the uselessness of the lockdowns (the description is from the shady but sometimes useful Swiss Policy Research site):

“In his latest contribution, the Swiss chief physician of infectiology, Pietro Vernazza, uses the results of the German Robert Koch Institute and ETH Zurich to show that the Covid19 epidemic was already under control before the “lockdown” was even introduced:

“These results are explosive: Both studies show that simple measures such as the renunciation of major events and the introduction of hygiene measures are highly effective. The population is able to implement these recommendations well and the measures can almost bring the epidemic to a halt. In any case, the measures are sufficient to protect our health system in such a way that the hospitals are not overburdened”.

Apparently, “in 2019, a WHO study found “little to no scientific evidence” for the effectiveness of measures such as “social distancing”, travel restrictions and lockdowns.” (Original study)

A study that aims to show why “masks don’t work

A detailed article about the situation in Syria (academic/research-type):

Long Quote:

“Testing for COVID-19

The regime is not just hoarding supplies or limiting access to northeast Syria; it is also hampering what capacities are in place and spreading false information. The WHO provided the Syrian Ministry of Health with five PCR machines, and Damascus decided not to send even a single one to the northeast. Accordingly, doctors there were compelled to use one of two routes to send samples to Damascus for testing. The first entails calling in a Rapid Response Team (RRT) supported by the WHO. Alex describes the difficulties encountered so far: “If a health facility calls the RRT for highly suspect cases, they say they can’t get through the checkpoints, they arrive late, or they simply say ‘we’re not coming.’ If they do arrive, they often say ‘these people don’t meet the case definition’ and refuse to swab them, even when they clearly display the symptoms.” According to Dr. Ciwan Mistefa, the co-chair of the Autonomous Administration’s Health Directorate and a human rights researcher working on Syria, the regime’s Health Directorate in Hassakeh ordered the RRT not to collect samples from hospitals that cooperate with NGOs that were not registered and approved by Damascus, such as MSF and the KRC. As a result, in some cases, patients were forced to be transferred to regime-run hospitals for the RRT to be willing to collect samples from them, endangering the health of both the patient and ambulance crews. This conduct is consistent with the WHO’s general refusal to provide assistance and coordinate with NGOs not registered in Damascus, which are responsible for meeting much of the area’s medical needs, said Dilgesh Issa of the KRC.

An alternative route involves shipping the samples to Damascus through the Qamishli airport, which has been used for sending samples for polio and influenza diagnostic tests in the past. “The RRT refused to come to the quarantine hospital in Hassakeh, saying there are too many checkpoints and not enough staff. After the failure to get them to come, we sent the two samples to Damascus on March 31 through the regular route recommended by the WHO, but Damascus says they did not get to them,” said Dr. Kevok. Similarly, samples collected by the RRT in northeast Syria, which the WHO claims tested negative, were apparently never tested, according to a well-placed health sector source who requested anonymity. This means that the Syrian Ministry of Health lab, supported by the WHO, is potentially misreporting cases as negative, when those individuals in fact are infected with COVID-19 and pose a danger to the community around them. 

As a result of the apparent policy of deprioritizing testing in northeast Syria, only 19 samples from the region were sent for testing in Damascus. “There are several samples for which no result was provided. We don’t know if they turned out negative, positive, or even if they were tested,” said Dr. Mistefa of the Autonomous Administration. He added, “There are dozens of suspected cases in northeast Syria. 19 tests for the entire region is a low number, indicating the limited cooperation by the WHO and limited support” provided to the northeast. 

The failure of the COVID-19 testing system in northeast Syria, overseen by a hostile regime and an obedient WHO, became glaringly apparent on April 18, when the Autonomous Administration announced that the WHO had just notified them that a patient whose sample was collected on March 29 and died on April 2 had tested positive for the virus. The WHO informed the Syrian Ministry of Health about the test results on April 2, but the regime refuses to coordinate with the Autonomous Administration and did not pass on this vital information. A spokesperson for the WHO claimed that contract-tracing was carried out after the test came back positive, but humanitarian workers in the region doubt this claim given the RRT’s hands-off approach and limited testing in the area. This conduct is reminiscent of the regime’s decision to ban the WHO from providing polio vaccinations in rebel-held Deir Ez Zor in the early years of the war and subsequent efforts by the WHO to cover up the inevitable outbreak of polio there in 2013.

On April 11, long after other areas in Syria, the Autonomous Administration was finally able to obtain two PCR machines from the KRI. Three more machines have arrived since and two are en route, according to Dr. Kevok, all of them transiting through the KRI. On April 20, after undergoing training, local technicians began to carry out COVID-19 tests in Qamishli. The WHO did not deliver any COVID-19 test kits to the region, leaving northeast Syria dependent on continued access to the KRI to acquire the needed supplies.”


Israel: “I am a Corona prisoner” –  patients in  hotels describe a rigid attitude, sudden orders from above and growing distress

[originally in Hebrew, Google translate +  adjustments from T]
Yesterday morning the Dan Panorama of Corona patients evacuated at short notice. One of the patients who was evacuated: “Sick people are sitting here on the floor, finished with the trip. The feeling is that I am just packing and unpacking.” Home Front Command: “The place will now be used for isolation of returnees from abroad”
“This is a youth hostel,” A told Hamakom, evacuated to Ashkelon. “There is no water in the rooms, there are dead insects, hairs on the floor and the beds, and we will all be two in the room. We have not been notified in advance. Exhausted from the trip, carrying the luggage, seeing and not believing.
Moving us, transferring us, tossing us around without logic and without explanation. “
Rumors of evacuation arrived at the hotel’s premises as early as yesterday morning, before a formal announcement from the Home Front Command at noon.
According to Home Front Command publications, the hotel claims that the occupancy rate has dropped, but some hotel occupants and their families have claimed that evacuations are a “vengeful conspiracy,” stemming from the feeling that they define “denial of  one’s humanity.” This feeling, according to people who spoke to Hamakom today, is growing among patients as a result of their encounters with the health system and the Home Front Command, which is entrusted with the logistics of their exile away from home.
“I’ve been living the corona from March 26,” says N. from Jerusalem, “I went through a lot under its shadow and I’m exhausted by the treatment I receive. First, I suffered from the symptoms of the disease. I was tested, but I did not get an answer because three of the four tests I did were lost. “They announced that I was positive for the virus only after a month when I was in isolation in a room at home, the positive answer was received from the first of all the tests I did. In the meantime, it turned out that two of my children were also infected with Corona and because I have other children, we chose to go to the hotel.”
“Last Tuesday, we arrived at the Dan Hotel in Jerusalem. We left things in the room, and when I went down to the lobby in the evening, I was told that there was a message from the Home Front Command that we are leaving the hotel tomorrow and moving to Tel Aviv.  We packed up again. When we arrived in Tel Aviv after a military bus ride, we waited in the hotel’s parking lot for an hour, our bags checked as if God knows what bomb we brought from the hotel in Jerusalem.
“Yesterday at noon, I go down to the lobby again and see a group of people who find out that we’re leaving tomorrow. The kids were in shock when they heard, they were just getting  acclimatised to the place. I try to stick to an optimistic feeling that I and the children are vacationing in Israel, but the unexplained orders are difficult and the feeling is that I am just packing and unpacking.” 
Screaming and crying at the hotel

“I asked to move to Nahariya [a coastal city in the north of Israel,  about 11 km from the Lebanease border – T], this is the hotel closest to our home in Haifa,” says N. “The proximity to home is important because my children do not eat the food we receive and it is forbidden to order food from outside. We rely on hot dishes and snacks that family members deliver. 

“The parcels are delivered between eight and ten o’clock in the morning. There have been many cases of screaming and crying at the hotel because family members  coming from afar who are late with  parcel delivery, even slightly, are sent home as soon as they come. In addition, when we are released, we have to return home on our own, so Nahariya is the preferred option.”
Luggage packing and check-out occur not only in hotel transitions, but also when a patient has to be cleared for screening. It happened to N with her 16-year-old daughter on Sunday night this week. The girl had trouble breathing and decided to be evacuated to the hospital. The mother and daughter returned to the hotel in the wee hours of the night, unpacking their belongings after a difficult hospital experience, only to have to pack up again the next day in the passage to “the unknown”, as N. describes.
“When we got to the hospital, we were instructed not to get out of the ambulance,” she describes. “We waited three hours, without a glass of water. When a doctor arrived, he told me to feel my daughter’s stomach and asked if it was soft or hard. I answered ‘soft’ and he went away. The ambulance driver was shocked by the treatment we received.”
Topaz Tsuzak, a young woman from Tiberias who was evacuated from the hotel to Ichilov hospital that Sunday, also testifies to similar treatment. “My coughs got stronger and I felt chest pains. The family doctor said she was hearing beeping on the phone and that I had to do a lung photograph.
“I packed my belongings, deposited the tickets at the front desk and was carried by ambulance with the suitcases. In the hospital, I waited about two hours for a nurse to take me for measurements. I told her I had to go to the bathroom and she replied that there was nothing to be done about it. After the nurse left, I waited for quite some time, a doctor arrived and told me that I looked fine. I asked that you check me out anyway. She measured me a fever, picked up my shirt in an ambulance, checked me and said she would come back with a release letter.
“The ambulance driver told me not to let it go and I announced that I was not going to take an X ray photo. I cried, and the doctor said I might be paranoid because of the illness. In the end she said they would arrange  an isolated room for me. I waited another hour in the ambulance until I was taken to a room that was closed with two doors with a camera and intercom. I started to cry that I had to go to the bathroom.
“After a long time, someone with a pot came into the room. I told her I couldn’t do a pot because the room was being filmed. She insisted, and finally a solution: she put the pot in between the two doors to give me privacy. I felt helpless, not like a human being, as if they had found me in the trash.”
Tsuzak went to the hospital in the early evening. The chest image was taken in the wee hours of the night and showed that she had an upper respiratory tract infection. With that diagnosis, she returned to the Dan Panorama Hotel to unpack her things before she was told she had to pack up again for the move.
“I don’t have the nerve for it,” she says. “There are people in a much more difficult situation here, but even I can’t do more with these hazings.”
Surrounded by fences and armed security guards
This is not the first hotel Tsutzak goes through during her illness. “I left home for the Kinar Hotel in Tiberias because my father has a serious chronic illness,” she says, “After a few days there, we were notified of the move the next day. The Home Front decided to designate the hotel for ultra-Orthodox Corona patients. They took all the seculars and Arabs to Dan Panorama.
“We were taken to Tel Aviv by military bus. I felt we were Security prisoners [=term commonly used by the Israeli State, usually refers to Palestinians imprisoned in Israel accusations such as being “members of illegal organizations” (meaning formerly the PLO, and now Hamas or Islamic Jihad), planning or taking part in sabotage against Israelis, raising a Palestinian flag, etc., – T]. Before we boarded the bus, we were head-counted to make sure no one escaped. Since I describe myself as a Corona prisoner, that’s what we are.”
“The rooms at the Dan Panorama were beautiful and there was room to walk in. The yard was 75 steps toward,” says A.
“But we were still surrounded by fences and armed security guards in every direction. I’m trying to figure out why, what is the logic. That behavior brings me back to my military days.”
A. spent ten days in Dan Panorama. She spent the previous 31 days of her illness with home isolation and two hospitalizations. “I suffered from all the possible corona symptoms,” she says, “when I was cleared by intensive care ambulance due to respiratory distress, I wrote a will during the journey.” 
Today, A. suffers from mild symptoms: ear infections, laryngitis, muscle pain and veins: “It’s not the flu I imagined. Vein pain that feels like someone is pulling them out of you, it’s indescribable pain.”
“It’s a disease that tests our patience mainly,” says A. “Some people have lived in the hotel for a month and even two months. But all the conduct with us is without planning. We have no emotional support. Apart from Gitty, the psychologist who was here and released a week and a half ago, we did not receive emotional support, and hers was also accidental. I hope people come out of here healthy in their souls.” 
“We are sick, but not lepers,” says N. “Today I have a Corona, but anyone can get sick. The attitude is rigid: the difficulties of packing, the sudden wandering between hotels, the fact that we couldn’t even order food that the children would be willing to eat in Dan Panorama.
“We are isolated from the world in every way, not let us be a part of anything but the disease. Nobody asks how we feel as simple people. The corona did not grow horns for us and we cannot be treated like people who are being moved from place to place, without preparation, without explanation. We get an instrumentalising attitude from everyone who comes in contact with us during this time.”
“We are dealing with illness,” adds A. “We are all far from home and isolated from society. It is an island of lepers. The mental state of many people in the hotel is shaky. There is no thought about how the steps taken are affecting the mind of a Corona patient. I know that in the army they don’t think about the soldiers’ emotional side and I have no allegations against the Home Front Command, but it could have just gone differently.
According to patients from the Dan Panorama Hotel, the Home Front Command now offers those who would like to return to their home in isolation. “But there is a reason why we went to the hotel,” says A. “We did this so as not to jeopardize family members. Now people are broken from the routine and attitude and prefer to be locked in a room in their home.”
The Home Front Command explained yesterday that the decision to evacuate Dan Panorama was made following the decline in hotel occupancy, and that the place will now be used for the isolation of returnees from abroad. However, it has already been decided today to put to vote the duty of isolation in the hotels for those returning from overseas, due to its high costs and the mental distress to which many of the isolated are exposed.



Spain: new so-called deconfinement rules very clearly attack the “elderly” and create social apartheid between the old and the rest

“The government order underscores that …residents of senior residences are not allowed out on public streets and spaces…People who need to go out with a caregiver and seniors over 70 years of age have their own time slots of 10am to 12pm and 7pm to 8pm.”

“A local officer told the Euro Weekly News “Everyone is getting clear notice of the time this morning so there are no excuses after 10am and we will start rounding up anyone who’s out after the designated time.””

This is a state that left people to die alone and unknown in care homes but spends endless amounts of money to send helicopters to arrest a lone person strolling along the beach! Remember – this government is a coalition of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) and Podemos. The most totalitarian Coronavirus regime in  Europe (and the competition is hot): up until recently kids weren’t even allowed to go out, and officially you weren’t even allowed to go out into your garden (though this was never enforced).

Spanish state accumulates at the very least 21 million euros in 2 days

Should pay for the cops’ bonuses plus drones, machine guns, helicopters, etc. – all the essentials for health –  the health, of course, of the state. The article says “From March 15 when Spain’s state of alarm kicked, until May 3, a total of 7,189 people were arrested, while 806,595 were fined.” With 600 euro minimum fines (1500 minimum in Madrid), that makes an absolute minimum of over half a billion euros , a minimum based on the unlikely idea that no-one was fined in Madrid, and that it also excludes multiple “offenders” whose fines can reach up to 600,000 euros! The media outside Spain is so far  presenting it all as some nice staggered “deconfinement” but these filth are as fascist as Franco, though very differently and in very different historical circumstances. They even seem to be looking to define certain kinds of criticism of the goverment as a “hate crime”.

Andalusia takes its cue from Trump…the bleached road to hell is paved with moronic intentions

“A 1.2-mile stretch of beach in the village of Zahara de los Atunes was sprayed with the disinfectant using tractors in an attempt to kill off coronavirus…Zahara de los Atunes official Agustin Conejo said the bleaching had been carried out in anticipation of children who would visit the beach after six weeks of quarantine, but admitted it was a “wrong move”. He told broadcaster Canal Sur: “I recognise it was an error. But it was done with the best of intentions.”

Israel: an aesthetic anaesthetic – or “…as long as this world is fundamentally ugly and work-oriented, aesthetics as a specialised activity will try to make it look nice and playful…”

It’s all bright for some

From Our  Diplomatic Correspondant on Radio Tel Aviv (87.9 Medium Wave – but to you 86.5)

Coronavirus Chic: Young Israeli Designers Face a Brighter Future Thanks to These Cool Masks (Haaretz article, in fact)

With their core activities curtailed by the pandemic, four quick-thinking Israeli designers saw no option but to handle the crisis in style. They’ve become unexpectedly must-have accessories whether we like it or not: Face masks are now mandatory in Israel, punishable with a 200 shekel ($55) fine if they aren’t worn in public during the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s offices, stores and streets have suddenly begun to resemble hospital operating rooms, with most people wearing standard surgical masks, interspersed with the occasional homemade cloth mask, mass-produced Lycra mask or improvised bandana.   Among the fashion conscious, though, demand for more stylish and cheerful forms of face protection has exploded – and several quick-thinking Israeli designers have filled that niche, offering masks that, on average, sell for between 69 to 199 shekels.  In her Jaffa studio, Swedish-born designer Kiki Almqvist has been busy producing her one-of-a-kind creations. ….  For her, the paper masks she bought at the pharmacy at the outset of the outbreak immediately rubbed her the wrong way. “It gave me an allergic rash,” she relays. “A lot of people with sensitive skin aren’t able to wear them comfortably.” So Almqvist took some of the elegant material from her designs and made silk-lined masks for herself. Her friends and customers wanted them as soon as they saw them. “It’s so much nicer to have a piece of good fabric on your face than paper,” she explains. Initially, she says, she was inspired to create masks that match her best-selling item at the moment – silk kimonos, which she calls “the ultimate clothing for the coronavirus: They are comfortable to wear around the house, but you can throw on heels and go outside and still look elegant.” The silky and sequined masks “are an extension of my collection,” she says. “Masks are going to be with us for a long time, and I think it will be great to have an elegant-looking mask to wear to an important meeting or a special event that feels ‘dressed up.'”…Wedding gown designer Yarden Oz characterizes her new mask-making venture, Happy People, as a way of “making lemonade out of some very bitter lemons.” She and her husband Shachaf work in some of the hardest-hit professions: He owns and operates a venue that specializes in bar- and bat-mitzvah parties – the Coliseum, in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon Letzion, where the couple lives. The special events industry was one of the first to fall victim to the coronavirus, with large gatherings banned; it is also expected to be one of the last to return to full operation.  “I love my work because I get to dress women on the happiest day of their lives,” says Oz, 28, explaining the name of her new venture. But when the coronavirus struck, nothing seemed happy anymore. “Suddenly, my days were all about cancellations, fears and pain,” she recounts. “Some of my brides postponed their events, others downsized to small ceremonies and I had to replace their dress with something more modest that suited the occasion better.” Oz made her first mask for her husband, after he was ordered into quarantine for two weeks. With no weddings to make dresses for, she invested the time to make a “stylish and fun” mask for him – because “let’s face it, hospital masks have a depressing connotation.”While she was at it, she decided to make a matching mask for herself, and the couple posted photos on social media of themselves wearing the masks. Soon, people were contacting her, asking for masks as well – and the new venture was born.She has transformed the empty Coliseum into an impromptu mask factory, and demand is such that she is working with 10 seamstresses outside the facility. Her most in-demand masks? Animal prints – leopard and zebra – and sequins. Now, she says, “some of my brides and grooms are sending out announcements of their rescheduled weddings – ‘update the date’ notices – with a photo of them wearing my masks.” Another newly branded mask vendor is Stav Ofman, a 2018 graduate of Shenkar College (one of Israel’s most prestigious design schools).  … “I created some crazy ones, which were one of a kind because I was using the scraps of leftover fabric. It started spreading by word of mouth among my friends here that I was making them – and I began getting requests.”The website for Ofman’s Savvy Masks – which come in three sizes, is slick and high concept. Each mask model has a name –  “The Elle,” “The Cheetah Girl,” “The Black Panther” – with some featuring camouflage, stars and high-end embroidered designs. Now she is considering working on outfits to match the masks, or perhaps bathing suits. “A lot will depend on what the restrictions will be this summer,” she explains. “Where are people going to be allowed to go, and where will they be required to wear the masks?” Like Oz and Almqvist, Ofman is selling her masks in central Israel or letting her customers pick them up from her. However, she soon hopes to be able to begin selling more widely – in London and other locations. Almqvist, who has established clientele in Sweden and the United States – she has been doing sales events via Zoom – has already sold masks overseas. Another designer, Rachel Aharami, has created a niche within a niche: specialty cloth masks for children. … “I love working with kids,” she says. “I like to see their smiles, and they really appreciate things that are special – it’s really rewarding. … I’m making between 60 and 90 each week, and I expect to make more.” Aharami’s masks feature angels, rainbows, unicorns and hearts – and a line of bolder masks with comic prints…”Now I have teachers getting ready to go back and they are coming to me for adult-sized masks in kid-friendly material that are pretty and fun, so the kids won’t feel scared or sad,” Aharami reports. “If you’re going to have to wear a mask – it might as well be cheerful.”

Dr. Mengele is alive and well and living in the UK:

“…the British Medical Association (BMA) …suggests that in cases where ventilators are scarce, those facing poor prognosis could have the life-saving equipment taken away from them – even if their condition is improving – with younger and healthier patients given priority instead.  We are already seeing this play out. Last week, one man tweeted that his brother, who lives in a care home with limited mobility and a cognitive disability, went to hospital with a chest infection but didn’t make “the pandemic-led prioritisation cut”. He died a week later.”

“Epilepsy Scotland has become aware of reports stating people in England and Wales with learning disability and autism had been “blanket” contacted by their GPs about filling out a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form. At time of writing, Epilepsy Scotland has not been made aware of such cases in Scotland. However, it is important to stress this is a line that should not be crossed”

“A GP surgery which said autistic adults should have plans to prevent them being resuscitated if they become critically ill has been criticised. Voyage Care, which cares for the group, was sent the letter by a surgery in Somerset amid the coronavirus crisis…The paperwork is known as a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order or an advanced care plan.”


India: new  tongs for harassing individuals, that repulsive creeps find sexually attractive, whilst maintaining social distancing (doubtless “grab ’em by the pussy” Trump has already ordered one of these)


Resistance to new conditions of surveillance produced by the Coronacrisis?



Spain: Police in helicopter descend on lone beachgoer amid  lockdown


German state of Saxony wants to put quarantine objectors in psychiatric hospitals

Google Translate:

“Saxony wants to block quarantine refusers in psychiatric hospitals

Anyone who has to be in quarantine in Saxony and does not abide by it must now face severe penalties. The federal state has cleared almost two dozen rooms in psychiatric clinics, where the unteachable should be guarded by the police.

Anyone who refuses to order home quarantine in Saxony can be arrested in a psychiatric clinic on Thursday. The MDR reported, referring to a request to the country’s Ministry of Social Affairs.

The state government has cleared a total of 22 rooms in the psychiatric clinics in Altscherbitz, Arnsdorf, Großschweidnitz and Rodewisch, in which any refusers should be fixed. The police should guard them.

“It is important for all of our health and life that people adhere to the quarantine orders of the health authorities,” the broadcaster quotes the country’s minister for social affairs, Petra Köpping (SPD).

“If it should happen in individual cases that people oppose the orders, it is necessary to enforce the measures ordered by the health authorities. It is also possible to place these people in a closed part of a hospital with a judicial decision. ”

This initiative is covered by Section 30 of the Federal Infection Protection Act. It states that whoever does not comply with the relevant orders or who, based on previous behavior, assumes that he will not comply with them, must “be separated out by being placed in a closed hospital or in a closed part of a hospital”.

“Only the absolute Ultima Ratio”

The Leipzig Green Party politician and lawyer Jürgen Kasek also speaks to the MDR in favor of this measure, but with reservations: “And very important, that must be proportionate.”

The compulsory stipulation is a “very strong fundamental rights measure”: “Therefore, it can only be the absolute ultima ratio if all other possibilities have been exhausted.”

According to the station, several thousand people have been sent to domestic quarantine in Saxony, including 3300 in Dresden and 2100 in Leipzig.”

As the USA and China clash using the pretext of the virus, a former US marine colonel suggests the part-privatisation of warfare against the Chinese navy, including its merchant navy

“Privateering constitutes a once universally accepted but now thoroughly unconventional way of harnessing the private sector in war…The rise of the Chinese military has been well documented, but a few points highlight why privateering would be a useful element of U.S. naval strategy…China has aggressively expanded its global economic and diplomatic influence through its Belt and Road Initiative, but this expansion creates a vulnerability, as these investments must be protected….The Chinese Communist Party has told the people they will not have democratic institutions, but they will receive economic prosperity. China’s merchant fleet is large, because the cost to China of building and operating merchant ships is low, and its export-driven economy creates a huge demand. In 2018, China had 2,112 ships in its global merchant fleet and Hong Kong had another 2,185. In addition, China has a massive long-distance fishing fleet, estimated at 2,500 vessels…. Privateers do not need to be heavily armed, because they would be taking on lightly (or un-) armed merchant vessels, choosing vulnerable targets, or acting cooperatively with other privateers. Since the goal is to capture the hulls and cargo, privateers do not want to sink the vessel, just convince the crew to surrender. How many merchant crews would be inclined to fight rather than surrender and spend the war in comfortable [sic] internment?”

“This pandemic will lead to social revolutions”

A Bloomberg article showing some of the rulers’ fears, but it’s more useful for them than for us

The most lethal virus: Capital


Technologists developing a virus “immunity passport” …follow up to “Gates suggests people be made to have a digital ID showing their vaccination status, and that people without this “digital immunity proof” would not be allowed to travel

UK food industry

Belgium: University dismisses professor who greeted police with Nazi salute

T says of the above: “Misleading and sensationalist report. What I saw (I watched the video of the event) is that the police were called to intervene in an apartment where two professors held a livestream lesson (apparently the neighbors complained of noise or something). What you see in the video is that one of the professors is arguing with the police, saying “welcome to fascist Belgium”, etc. (the livestream is still going, so all of the students can see what’s happening) and refusing to give his ID card. At some point the cops also accuse the professor of  violating the social-distancing measures, and later when the professor says “Sieg Heil” – obviously as a cynical response to the police methods – one cop tells him that it’s an incitement to racism…”

It’s his own fault – he should have said “Sieg Democracy!”

China’s spread of disinformation


Child deaths linked to ‘stay at home’ COVID warnings

Just translated article on the Modena prison uprising in March and the mass murder by the state that followed

2 articles on Taiwan: and

Trump Has Emergency Powers We Aren’t Allowed to Know About

“Some of the most potent emergency powers at his disposal are likely ones we can’t know about, because they are not contained in any publicly available laws. Instead, they are set forth in classified documents known as “presidential emergency action documents.” These documents consist of draft proclamations, executive orders and proposals for legislation that can be quickly deployed to assert broad presidential authority in a range of worst-case scenarios. They are one of the government’s best-kept secrets. No presidential emergency action document has ever been released or even leaked. And it appears that none has ever been invoked….government documents have revealed some of the actions that older presidential emergency action documents — those issued up through the 1970s — purported to authorize. These include suspension of habeas corpus by the president (not by Congress, as assigned in the Constitution), detention of United States citizens who are suspected of being “subversives,” warrantless searches and seizures and the imposition of martial law….The most notable aspect of presidential emergency action documents might be their extreme secrecy. It’s not uncommon for the government to classify its plans or activities in the area of national security. However, even the most sensitive military operations or intelligence activities must be reported to at least some members of Congress. By contrast, we know of no evidence that the executive branch has ever consulted with Congress — or even informed any of its members — regarding the contents of presidential emergency action documents.”

medical complexities of virus



“A coronavirus lockdown in Liberia’s capital Monrovia got off to a chaotic start on Saturday, as some police officers used truncheons against residents who had ventured out into the streets to buy food and withdraw money. Confusion reigned across much of Monrovia, a city of more than 1 million people, with many having heard, erroneously, via social media that the government had ordered a 3 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew rather than a full lockdown. Many residents voiced anger at President George Weah’s order, which they said would do more harm than good in a country where more than half the population lives in poverty. “Corona is not going to kill many people. It is hunger that will kill many Liberians,” said Jettroy Kolleh, a student, as he stood outside a bank in Monrovia where dozens of people had queued in close proximity to withdraw money…Liberia has so far confirmed at least 48 cases of the coronavirus, including five deaths.”

US: Strange tale of navy secretary forcing captain of ship to resign after he demanded help for virus-infected ship, and then the navy secretary himself had to resign

“Crozier was relieved of his command last week after sending a compelling letter on March 30 to Navy brass pleading for help dealing with an outbreak of the coronavirus on his ship at sea. The message, sent via a nonsecure, unclassified email leaked to the media. More than 100 of some 4,000 sailors on the ship had already tested positive for COVID-19 when Cozier sent the plea. Then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly quickly relieved Crozier of his command for exercising what he considered poor judgment. Modly then took a $243,000 flight to Guam Monday to tell Crozier’s crew that their captain had been “too naive or stupid” to lead the ship. One sailor can be heard shouting “what the fuck” at Modly at that point in a recording of the speech that was leaked to the press. Modly apologized for the speech later that day — then resigned on Tuesday.”



Gates suggests people be made to have a digital ID showing their vaccination status, and that people without this “digital immunity proof” would not be allowed to travel

Face masks become compulsory in Israel


Doctor-cum-politician shows the interconnection of state and pharmaceutical companies (video)

Amongst the half-truths and one-and-a-half truths there are some interesting genuine truths in this mix of conspiracy-theory-inspired political manipulation and partial medical sense and nonsense.


UK: Minister of Health, having had the virus, comes out after 6 days of confinement to cough and sneeze close up to people whilst opening a hospital

To be continued…(not yet transferred from original comments boxes)


*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Original article put up on January 28th 2020

Note added 25/3/20:

Please also note that some things here I’d modify given the almost 2 months since I started this. In the confusion of this unprecedented situation, you discover a great deal more  tentatively playing around with ideas than playing the perfectionist with some blanket dogma that ignores all the nuances.



“As of today, the state has essentially quarantined an area estimated to encompass 35 million people—a population greater than the 10 largest U.S. cities combined. The unprecedented intervention paints an apocalyptic scene. Around the world, stock markets fell. …Based on what’s known so far, the virus is dangerous—but not unprecedentedly so. It has been confirmed to spread among people who are in close contact—family and health-care workers—but it does not clearly show sustained transmission among people, like other coronaviruses that can manifest as the common cold. The virus seems to have an especially high mortality rate, though of the 26 people reported dead so far, most have been of advanced age or chronically ill—a similar demographic to the hundreds of thousands of people killed every year by the influenza virus….so far, the most deadly coronaviruses—SARS and MERS—each killed fewer than a thousand. Both were tragic, but could have been exponentially worse. Part of the fear and panic in the current case seems less due to the virus than to the response. The moderately virulent nature of the pathogen seems at odds with the fact that the largest quarantine in human history is now taking place in an authoritarian state. People inside and outside of China have limited trust in the information they receive, given the country’s long history of propaganda and censorship. Without knowing everything that the state does, international officials have been hesitant to criticize its response. But there is good reason to believe that the quarantine itself will have significant consequences. Quarantines were common during Europe’s plague-addled Middle Ages, and continued to be the primary means of controlling outbreaks until 1900. Especially after the advent of antibiotics and diagnostic testing, the relative harms began to outweigh the benefits. International agreements were put in place to limit the practice as a matter of justice, because of the burden it placed on people and economies, in addition to basic questions of effectiveness. Quarantines may be used in isolated cases, especially before an outbreak is widespread. But in China, given the advanced spread of the outbreak—the new virus was first reported to the World Health Organization just three weeks ago and has since been found in Japan, South Korea, the United States, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam—some experts believe any window for effective containment has passed…Shortly after the quarantine was announced, The Washington Post reported increases in the cost of food in Wuhan. Some citizens have reported empty grocery shelves…. Social-media posts describe people being unable to get access to medical facilities for viral testing. Other posts on social media about the scope of the outbreak have inexplicably disappeared, prompting accusations of censorship and further uncertainty.”

In 2005 in France the avian flu “pandemic” was the first item of the evening news for about 6 weeks. Small farms were visited daily by gendarmes until they were forced to close down. Nobody in France died, and globally there were less than 1000 deaths of human beings, vastly smaller than deaths from ordinary flu annually. But it served the purpose of destroying small farmers/peasants and greatly boosting agribusiness.

“Until recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated the annual mortality burden of influenza to be 250 000 to 500 000 all-cause deaths globally; however, a 2017 study indicated a substantially higher mortality burden, at 290 000-650 000 influenza-associated deaths from respiratory causes alone, and a 2019 study estimated 99 000-200 000 deaths from lower respiratory tract infections directly caused by influenza. ” – here. This is not to deny the fact that this new virus is killing people in greater proportion to those who have it than the proportion of those who die from ordinary flu as compared to those who get it, but it gives some notion of the disproportionate level of alarm. Meanwhile deaths from malaria are also quite high – 405,000, 67% of whom were children,  in 2018.

In France in 2009 swine flu became the pretext for an exercise in social control – with doctors forced by the state to vaccinate everybody who came to their clinics fearing the disease. Despite massive and continual state and media propaganda, less than 30% of the population took up this manipulated ‘need’ for a vaccine. The Minister of Health at the time, Rosalyne Bachelot, whose personal interests in the pharmaceutical industry were well-known, ordered billions of euros worth of vaccines that were never used, but which the state paid to her financial connections.

Undoubtedly illness and disease are constantly used for ulterior motives  which will invariably be dismissed as ‘conspiracy theory’ by  interested parties. Often the state allows genuine problems (and certainly not only health-related ones) to develop to use a crisis so as to consequently crack down on potential revolt. This is not to ignore the  obviously ridiculous conspiracy theories around the Coronavirus, whose effect is ultimately to make many of those who recognise the absurdity of many of these claims  accept everything official ideology proclaims about it, since anything critical can be dismissed as some stupid conspiracy “theory”.

Which is why we should not forget that Wuhan – the centre of the Coronavirus – had a significant social movement in July 2019 which tentatively began to connect to the movement in Hong Kong ( see this, this, this, this, this, this, and this), which may be a factor in this exercise in authoritarian repression.  And Hong Kong too is experiencing some minor elements of control as a result of this virus. In the face of the very tenuous beginnings of significant social contestation in countries throughout  the world, fear of touching or proximity to others is another convenient factor in the intensification of social separation. Given the ‘spontaneous’ racism of many people, it doesn’t need to be deliberate policy for it to be exploited  in such a way as to exacerbate already existing separations – such as racism towards anyone who looks Chinese (see, for instance, this).

Moreover, given the fact that the doctor who originally discovered this virus was arrested and accused of “rumour-mongering”, it’s hard not to speculate if the Chinese bureaucracy intentionally wanted this virus to spread. And perhaps conveniently blame the local bureaucracy in Wuhan of gross incompetence so as to get rid of rivals in the CCP’s internal battles. Sure, this is pure conjecture, and it implies that the State is omnipotent and invariably in control of forces that are often beyond its control. It would suggest that the CCP was capable of undermining its own global bid for world market supremacy (the effect of the virus has been to weaken Chinese capital) because of a greater threat of internal subversion perhaps triggered by the limited revolts in Hong Kong, and Wuhan itself. In other words, figuring out that reducing its capacity for capital accumulation in the immediate term  was worth it in order to suppress the possibility of revolt. Possibly too many incalculable risks for the State  to have proceeded in such a Machiavellian manner, though it’s still a possibility. However, it’s  not really worthwhile going down this road of hypothesis-fantasy. After all, it’s how the state actually uses this “crisis” that’s important not tracking down the manipulations and manoeuvres that seem to be behind it.

Conspiracy “theory” is often just a way of constantly researching – and often inventing – “proofs” with the sole aim of proving something that’s largely impossible to prove without having direct access to the hidden secrets at the centre of Power.  And almost invariably  involves ignoring any evidence that may conflict with the conspiracy ideology: having decided dogmatically on the fact that a situation is  a conspiracy, it would be inconvenient to look at anything that might run counter to such a possibility. In an age of confusion and uncertainty, conspiracy “theory” functions like other  forms of dogma – as a way of affirming a fixed idea that seems to rise above the turmoil. In a world that’s utterly insecure, those on the absolute margin of existence seek out fixed certainties that substitute for confronting  this increasingly chaotic world, that substitute for a more open ‘nuanced’ attitude towards people and ideas.

Conspiracy “theory” is usually an obsession which aims to sell the “theorist” as a particularly lucid opponent of political intrigue. Whereas in fact, it’s just a grandiose internet-fueled  political version of what used to be seen as petty gossip. Substitute “Jerry’s sleeping with his ex-wife’s girlfriend” with “Xi Jinping hates Zhou Xianwang because…”. Just as in the past the largest section of society objectively reduced to being spectators of history – women – resorted to gossip as  a form of manipulation substituting for direct ability to influence events, so nowadays there are many who essentially remain spectators who feel that they overcome their separation from history by spreading conspiracy “theories”.

“Conspiracy ideology becomes a strategy which mediates all of reality. For the believer, the clouds rain conspiracy, the sunshine nourishes it. Its favorite climate is fog, the element of confusion, where secrets are wrapped in a nebulous environment that animates mundanity. Facts are relevant only as details in the landscape which jive or don’t jive with what the believer wants to see. …Conspiracy ideology does not set out to demonstrate the real motive forces behind human practice (including the actual role, if any, of conspiracies within the development of events), but rather takes the conspiracy as beginning and end. The notion itself of conspiracy constitutes the totality of its substance. Conspiracy ideology is a quintessential reflection in ideas of commodity production: each new detail at once creates the need for more details and confirms the value of all previous investigation (consumption). Each detail is a commodity in and of itself. The goal – discovery – is always a letdown, a pageant of bureaucratic tedium. The process is everything. Conspiracy ideology is modernist to the extent that it makes interpretation participatory. The specialist is not the person best able to interpret the evidence, but the person who uncovers it. The interpretation is left to mutilated subjectivity….” – here (written in 1979!)


in Hong Kong some people are resisting.

“Protesters threw petrol bombs on Sunday night at an empty public housing complex in Hong Kong that had been earmarked to become a temporary quarantine zone as the city battles an outbreak of the SARS-like Novel Coronavirus as the city battles an outbreak of the SARS-like Novel Coronavirus…Dozens of local residents and protesters opposed to the idea held rallies outside the complex on Sunday, with some setting up road blocks…The city’s ability to combat the crisis was hampered by moves in mainland China to cover up and play down the outbreak, leaving a lasting legacy of distrust among many Hong Kongers.”


The lobby of the proposed quarantine building

More surveillance, tighter controls: China’s coronavirus crackdown

A man stands next to a cart in a snow-covered field in Inner Mongolia, trying to carve a path. A drone hovers in the distance and a voice calls out: “Uncle, why are you still going out without a face mask? Don’t laugh. Hurry up and get in your car and go home.” As the man drives away, glancing back, the drone follows him and the voice warns: “Don’t come outside if you don’t have to. Rest at home … What are you looking at? Go!”…More than 50 million people have been placed under a lockdown and myriad directives have been issued, from enforcing temperature checks and “strengthening monitoring” of citizens’ health to persuading people not to hold weddings or other large gatherings….”

On the uselessness of facemasks

Updated on 4th February with statistics about ordinary flu, and the two links immediately above about China’s use of the epidemic to reinforce already existing tendencies to totalitarian surveillance and the uselesssness of facemasks.

Updated further on 8th February with an elaboration on the contradictions of conspiracy “theories”.

PS This – Will the coronavirus outbreak derail the global economy? could well become the official reason  for an economic recession-cum-depression which was already predictable way before the Coronavirus “crisis”, the justification for further attacks on the working class.

Homeopathic cure for the virus


The only system we want to be strong is the immune (system)


Links to various pieces of relevant information and texts (other than examples of practical contestation ) starting with the most recent.





The following were additional links, mainly by myself, put in the original comments boxes:

109 Responses to Coronavirus – an exercise in intensified social control
  1. Anti-China xenophobia intensifies with Coronavirus:

    “Minnie Li has thrown herself into Hong Kong’s protest movement for the past few years, even joining a hunger strike last summer.

    But these days the Shanghai native and university lecturer is greeted with flyers warning that mainland Chinese like her are not welcome – all in the name of shielding residents from potential coronavirus carriers from the mainland….”


    China’s online censors tighten grip after brief coronavirus respite:…/

    “The period from Jan 19 to Feb 1, when public concern about the coronavirus exploded just as China was gearing up for the Lunar New Year holiday, saw an uncharacteristic loosening. Online buzz about the outbreak flourished, with netizens largely unfettered in criticizing local authorities – but not central government leaders – over their handling of the crisis.

    That liberalisation has come to end, with censors in the past week shutting down WeChat groups and scrubbing social media posts, according to Chinese reporters. Authorities have also reprimanded tech firms that gave free rein to online speech.

    “Xi Jinping has made it clear that he expects efforts to strengthen ‘the guidance of public opinion’ to be increased,” said Fergus Ryan, an analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) who studies Chinese social media. “

  2. China Arrested a Whistleblower Who Shot Viral Video of Coronavirus Corpses in Wuhan
    Vice News, February 11, 2020

    China Detains, Harasses Journalist, Academics Over Reports, Comments on Coronavirus
    Radio Free Asia, February 10, 2020

    Seven Detained in Tibet For ‘Spreading Rumors’ on the Coronavirus Threat
    Radio Free Asia, February 10, 2020

  3. Beijing and Shanghai impose new controls on residents –…?

    “Measures unveiled by the authorities in Beijing and Shanghai on Monday include stricter controls on the movement of residents and vehicles, compulsory mask-wearing and shutting down leisure and other non-essential community services….Officials at the epidemic control and prevention centre in Shanghai said on Monday that “the vast majority” of the city’s 13,000 residential communities and compounds had instituted “lockdown management”, including entry restrictions and mandatory temperature checks….Most residents appear supportive of the restrictions amid widespread anxiety and fear over the spread of the deadly virus….with restrictions in place for the past two weeks, it felt like “living in a prison”….many others, who were apparently dissatisfied with the government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the disruption to their lives, complained about the sweeping restrictions and questioned their effectiveness….“What’s the point of such lockdown measures if we are still required to go back to the office to resume work, where we are vulnerable to infections and human transmissions,” a Weibo user commented on the social media site. A tenant in Shijiazhuang, the capital city of Hebei province neighbouring Beijing, said that he was told by his landlord that he needed to submit a medical document for a pass to enter his compound. “But the problem is, I have to go to the hospital to get such document, but who wants to go to hospital at this moment?””

  4. More:

    “A woman who broke a quarantine order by going to her office in Kowloon and attending a meeting elsewhere in Hong Kong has slammed the anti-contagion measure as a “complete waste of time and resources”. Teenie Chau, who asked not to give her real name, had last been in mainland China on January 27 before returning to the city via Taiwan on Saturday, when the government’s tough new system against the spread of the deadly coronavirus took effect. Chau said she went out on Monday in a surgical mask while subject to a stay-at-home order for two weeks that she insisted she did not know at the time applied to her.”

    Xi Jinping May Lose Control of the Coronavirus Story, Foreign Policy, February 10, 2020

    Hong Kong Is Showing Symptoms of a Failed State
    Bloomberg, February 8, 2020

    China’s rulers see the coronavirus as a chance to tighten their grip
    The Economist, February 8, 2020

    Here’s How China Is Silencing Coronavirus Critics in the U.S.
    Vice News, February 12, 2020

    Coronavirus “Rumor” Crackdown Continues With Censorship, Detentions
    China Digital Times, February 12, 2020

    About 100 people protest in Hong Kong over plan to use Fo Tan public housing estate as quarantine site
    South China Morning Post, February 12, 2020

    Why a coronavirus-fuelled revolution in China is unlikely, despite Western commentators’ fondest hopes
    South China Morning Post, February 13, 2020

  5. Xi had early knowledge of coronavirus severity –

    ” …a speech by President Xi Jinping that indicated the country’s leadership was aware of the potential gravity of the outbreak far before the Chinese public was informed.

    In the early days of the epidemic, which has been one of the biggest political challenges of Xi’s tenure, the president seemed to play a muted role, partly fuelling criticism of the government’s approach to the outbreak. But during a speech Xi delivered February 3, which was published by state media on Saturday, he said he gave instructions on fighting the virus as early as January 7.

    It was not until late January that officials said the virus could spread between humans and public alarm began to rise.

    In the address, Xi said he ordered the shutdowns at the epicentre: “On January 22, in light of the epidemic’s rapid spread and the challenges of prevention and control, I made a clear request that Hubei province implement comprehensive and stringent controls over the outflow of people.”

    This surely makes my original hypothesis of a “conspiracy” ( ie let something terrible happen so as to give the state, threatened by potential subversion from below, the image of being the saviour ) increasingly likely…No need to look for secret information that it was grown deliberately in a lab when a totally verifiable conspiracy is hiding in plain sight.

  6. Three things the Chinese government tried to hide during the novel coronavirus outbreak:

    Quartz, February 13, 2020

  7. Some increasing evidence that it may have come from a lab:

  8. Why a Chinese virology lab is unable to quell the coronavirus conspiracy theories around it:

  9. Acrostic poem about Cornoavirus causes problems:

    Acrostic: a poem, in which particular letters,usually the first letters of each line, spell a word, phrase or sentence.

  10. Leaked report reveals Carrie Lam proposed to Beijing to use coronavirus outbreak as opportunity to help pro-establishment camp win September LegCo elections

    Apple Daily, February 22, 2020

    港《蘋果》密件揭林鄭向北京獻計 藉抗疫令建制選情轉危為機

    《蘋果》指林鄭向北京呈報告 賴暴亂、醫護罷工阻抗疫 篤建制派、行會成員背脊 (In leaked report to Beijing, Carrie Lam blames protests for failures in anti-outbreak policies; accuses pro-establishment camp for abandoning her; orders Hospital Authority to fire medical staff who took part in strike; and says outbreak in Hong Kong is “precious chance for U-turn for September elections”)
    Stand News, February 22, 2020 –

    李立峯:社會運動下的抗疫和抗疫下的社會運動 (Combatting viral outbreak amid a social movement, and undergoing a social movement in a viral outbreak)
    Ming Pao, February 20, 2020 –

  11. As Wuhan’s desperate and sick beg for help, China shuts them down –
    – The Guardian, February 17, 2020

    “An anonymous Chinese writer living in North America describes how the CPC’s censorship model has contributed to the spread of the Coronavirus, as the state prioritizes its own interests over those of its citizens:

    “In mid-January, a nurse told me that medical workers in Wuhan had been advised to not wear protective gear to avoid causing panic. Later, Song told me that medical workers had been advised not to appeal for help on public media outlets. Now 1,700 medical workers nationwide have been infected.”

    Those who report or take photos of the situation in Wuhan are forced into what the authorities call “compulsory quarantine” and kept incommunicado for up to 40 days:

    说了真话 新华社的天塌了?(Xinhua commentary on doctors’ fear of speaking the truth in virus outbreak taken down hours after it is posted)
    Deutsche Welle, February 23, 2020 –

    真实的武汉在哪里?”暖新闻”是这样吞噬真实的声音 (Where is the real Wuhan? How “warm news” swallows up voices of truth)
    Radio Free Asia, February 21, 2020 –

    Chinese censorship demonstrates it can afford the cost of ‘the death of media’
    Global Voices, February 21, 2020 –

    敏感詞管制嚴苛 網課直播屢遭禁 (During virus outbreak, online homework and livestreamed classes are blocked by China’s firewall) –

    Chinese bureaucracy finds a use abroad for Twitter, a medium it fears at home – ie using it to praise the state’s power to protect people from the virus that they’d allowed to spread for 2 weeks in January before they turned the ‘crisis’ to their advantage (but, of course, suppressing any independent use of it in China itself):

    Hong Kong’s low-income families struggling to afford masks and disinfectant, new study claims
    South China Morning Post, February 23, 2020 –

    Protests over Yuen Long feature beer, champagne as some celebrate Hong Kong police officer’s coronavirus infection
    South China Morning Post, February 21, 2020 –

  12. Coronavirus: single mother uses same mask for five days as grass roots priced out of Hong Kong’s frantic panic buying or too weak to queue overnight –

    (report 5/2/20)

    Some reports say masks cost 5 euros each, and only last 4 hours…

    The cheaper ones are medically useless but socially useful.

  13. China, apparenly in order to Stop Coronavirus, Turns Neighbor Against Neighbor: The authorities hunt for people from Wuhan, the center of the outbreak, encouraging citizens to inform on others. Even those without symptoms are being ostracized.

  14. The wonders of quarantined life:

    “…social media is still awash with entertaining videos…Xinhua, China’s official news agency, has found its own protagonists of this blitz spirit, such as the crying guard who sits on the ground eating his lunch but jumps up seconds later “when duty calls”, or an Egyptian family who “chose” to stay in Wuhan. A series of star-filled songs about the outbreak have added to the culture of positivity and patriotism. Jackie Chan sings on both Wuhan, are you OK? and Believe Love Will Triumph…The truth is that most people are not interested in being controversial, and are just trying to pass the time and are happy for a morale boost.Yesterday, a friend urged me not to ask too many questions about coronavirus on WeChat, as it has become “too sensitive””

    Why worry about socialising being banned? Virtual socialising is marvellous, particularly when you avoid sensitive questions: separation perfected…
    The reigning economic system is a vicious circle of isolation. Its technologies are based on isolation, and they contribute to that same isolation. From automobiles to “social” media, the goods that the spectacular system chooses to produce also serve it as weapons for constantly reinforcing the conditions that no longer even engender “lonely crowds” because even a lonely crowd can begin to overcome its loneliness, can overcome the absence of community that the culture of positivity and patriotism ensures, and spread the virus that hierarchical power fears the most: the virus of subversion. The ideal of the spectacle is everybody indoors unless the necessities of wage labour force them to ‘meet’ – where their ‘communication’ is under the constant supervision of their bosses. With ever-increasing concreteness the spectacle recreates its own presuppositions. Spectators are linked solely by their one-way relationship to the very center that keeps them isolated from each other. The spectacle thus reunites the separated, but it reunites them only in their separateness.

    More here:

    “With at least two prominent citizen journalists — Chen Qiushi and Fang Bing — ‘disappeared’ or otherwise silenced after they posted grim accounts and video clips of hospitals struggling to cope with the onrush of suspected coronavirus patients, the party is now taking charge of the story, ordering only “positive” coverage from state journalists already trained to sing its praises.
    “[We must] step up strategic content planning and innovation … promote positive energy and foster a climate of public opinion that is conducive to waging an all-out people’s war on the epidemic,” the directive said.
    We must project the positive image of the commission’s police, grid operatives and other rank-and-file members of the mass surveillance team in the new era,” it said.
    “We get our orders and we move out, fearing no hardship, only selfless dedication,” the directive said.
    It requires all Communist Party political and legal affairs committees at regional and provincial level to implement the new propaganda requirements, as well as cracking down on “illegal and criminal acts that hinder epidemic prevention and control work.”
    Propaganda work should include “moving stories about the noble deeds of … staunch defenders against the epidemic,” it said, calling for more human interest stories and emotional episodes to paint “a vivid picture of loyalty, selflessness, dedication, singing and tears.”

  15. Interesting detailed radical text ( I have minor qualms about what could be interpreted as some nostalgia for welfare state capitalism, but it’s not explicit and is not in any way the main aspect of this text):

    Some excerpts:
    “Wuhan…now plagued by overproduction and forced into a contentious new round of downsizing, privatization and general restructuring—itself resulting in several large strikes and protests in the last five years. The city is essentially the construction capital of China, which means it has played a particularly important role in the period after the global economic crisis, since these were the years in which Chinese growth was buoyed by the funneling of investment funds into infrastructure and real estate projects. Wuhan not only fed this bubble with its oversupply of building materials and civil engineers but also, in so doing, became a real estate boomtown of its own. According to our own calculations, in 2018-2019 the total area dedicated to construction sites in Wuhan was equivalent to the size of Hong Kong island as a whole…

    …the once-bustling city has been sealed off for over a month, its streets emptied by government mandate: “The greatest contribution you can make is: don’t gather together, don’t cause chaos,” read a headline in the Guangming Daily, run by the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda department…

    …the fact is that, despite the government’s call to isolate oneself, people may soon be forced to “gather together” to tend to the needs of production…

    …Now is not the time for a simple “Scooby-Doo Marxist” exercise of pulling the mask off the villain to reveal that, yes, indeed, it was capitalism that caused coronavirus all along! That would be no more subtle than foreign commentators sniffing about for regime change. Of course capitalism is culpable—but how, exactly, does the social-economic sphere interface with the biological, and what kind of deeper lessons might be drawn from the entire experience?
    … we’ll explore both… how capitalist accumulation produces such plagues, but also how the moment of pandemic is itself a contradictory instance of political crisis, making visible to people the unseen potentials and dependencies of the world around them, while also offering yet another excuse for the extension of systems of control even further into everyday life…

    … the evolutionary pressure cooker of capitalist agriculture and urbanization… provides the ideal medium through which ever-more-devastating plagues are born, transformed, induced to zoonotic leaps, and then aggressively vectored through the human population. To this is added similarly intensive processes occurring at the economy’s fringes, where “wild” strains are encountered by people pushed to ever-more extensive agroeconomic incursions into local ecosystems…

    …Growing genetic monocultures of domestic animals removes whatever immune firebreaks may be available to slow down transmission. Larger population sizes and densities facilitate greater rates of transmission. Such crowded conditions depress immune response. High throughput, a part of any industrial production, provides a continually renewed supply of susceptibles, the fuel for the evolution of virulence…

    …If we instead look to England, where capitalism arose first in the countryside via the mass clearing of peasants from the land to be replaced by monocultures of livestock, we see the earliest examples of these distinctively capitalist plagues. Three different pandemics occurred in 18th century England, spanning 1709-1720, 1742-1760, and 1768-1786. The origin of each was imported cattle from Europe, infected by the normal pre-capitalist pandemics that followed bouts of warfare. But in England, cattle had begun to be concentrated in new ways, and the introduction of the infected stock would therefore rip through the population much more aggressively than it had in Europe….

    … prior to circulation enhancing the resilience of such diseases, the basic logic of capital helps to take previously isolated or harmless viral strains and place them in hyper-competitive environments that favor the specific traits which cause epidemics, such as rapid viral lifecycles, the capacity for zoonotic jumping between carrier species, and the capacity to quickly evolve new transmission vectors…

    COVID-19 can’t be understood without taking into account the ways in which China’s last few decades of development in and through the global capitalist system has molded the country’s health care system and the state of public health more generally. The epidemic, however novel, is therefore similar to other public health crises that came before it, which tend to be produced with nearly the same regularity as economic crises, and to be regarded in similar ways within the popular press—as if they were random, “black swan” events, utterly unpredictable and unprecedented. The reality, however, is that these health crises follow their own chaotic, cyclical patterns of recurrence, made more probable by a series of structural contradictions built into the nature of production and proletarian life under capitalism. Much like the case of the Spanish Flu, the coronavirus was originally able to take hold and spread rapidly because of a general degradation of basic healthcare among the population at large. But precisely because this degradation has taken place in the midst of spectacular economic growth, it has been obscured behind the splendor of glittering cities and massive factories. The reality, however, is that expenditures on public goods like health care and education in China remain extremely low, while most public spending has been directed toward brick and mortar infrastructure—bridges, roads, and cheap electricity for production…”

    …and so it continues – examining, amongst other things, the miserable absence of access to health care amongst China’s hundreds of millions of migrant workers, and how “Spanish Influenza” and Ebola developed .

  16. 武汉肺炎”养老院11长者死 官方威胁造谣可囚7年 (Caixin News reports 11 dead in elderly home, authorities threaten 7-year imprisonment for spreading rumors)
    Radio Free Asia, February 25, 2020 –

    武汉肺炎治疗”免费”吗? 疫情暴露出中国卫生投入的短板 (Is treatment for coronavirus free? The shortcomings of China’s healthcare)
    Radio Free Asia, February 25, 2020 –

    醫管局向罷工醫護發信 稱考慮下一步跟進 「繼續支付工資,但不表示放棄追究權利」(Hong Kong Hospital Authority issues letter to medics who took part in strike and threatens follow-up action)
    Stand News, February 26, 2020 –

    Xi warned officials that efforts to stop virus could hurt economy: sources
    Reuters, February 11, 2020 –

    Hong Kong Tightens Border as Medical Workers Call for Shutdown
    The New York Times, February 3, 2020

    Coronavirus: top Hong Kong medical school chief questions government response to health crisis
    South China Morning Post, February 4, 2020 –

    逃兵還是抗爭者?罷工香港醫護到底在爭取什麼 (Fighters or deserters? What Hong Kong’s medical workers want from strike)
    The Initium, February 3, 2020 –

    醫管局稱約 4400 醫護罷工 包括 360 醫生 2500 護士 強調和員工睇法一致 (Hospital Authority announces 4,400 medical workers absent from duty in second wave of strikes)
    Stand News, February 4, 2020 –

    Coronavirus: Hong Kong faces escalated medical strike despite government move to expand border closures
    South China Morning Post, February 3, 2020

    Dissident artist receives repeated death threats after calling for movement not to resume work amidst outbreak –

    Coronavirus Weakens China’s Powerful Propaganda Machine –
    “Beijing is tapping its old propaganda playbook as it battles the relentless coronavirus outbreak, the biggest challenge to its legitimacy in decades. State media is filling smartphones and airwaves with images and tales of unity and sacrifice aimed at uniting the people behind Beijing’s rule. It even briefly offered up cartoon mascots named Jiangshan Jiao and Hongqi Man, characters meant to stir patriotic feelings among the young during the crisis.

    “The problem for China’s leaders: This time, it isn’t working so well.

    “Online, people are openly criticizing state media. They have harshly condemned stories of individual sacrifice when front-line medical personnel still lack basic supplies like masks. They shouted down Jiangshan Jiao and Hongqi Man. They have heaped scorn on images of the women with shaved heads, asking whether the women were pressured to do it and wondering why similar images of men weren’t appearing.”

    Uighur activists say China’s coronavirus measures are causing widespread hunger
    Agence France-Presse, February 27, 2020 –

    Coronavirus: China tries to contain outbreak of freedom of speech, closing critics’ WeChat accounts
    South China Morning Post, February 26, 2020 –

    肺炎疫情繼續蔓延 中國官民網絡博弈成拉鋸戰 (As coronavirus spreads in China, online fight between government and the people becomes tug-o-war)
    BBC, February 24, 2020 –

    消息指瑪嘉烈醫院部門主管拒交罷工醫護名單 辭職轉任顧問醫生 院方不評論 (Head of radiology at Prince Margaret Hospital refuses to submit list of doctors who joined strike to Hospital Authority, quits as a result)
    The Stand News, February 27, 2020 –

    Coronavirus: Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority targets medics who went on strike to urge border closure
    Hong Kong Free Press, February 27, 2020 –


    X writes:

    The episode at Costco [SF note: mad panic buying in the States, supermarkets’ shelves emptied…] in the foreground and the Chinese response in the background and the Trump response overhead…makes me think of a parodic revisitation of the situationist divison of spectatular labor wherein the “concentrated spectacle” of the PRC has a region-wide lockdown, replete with hi-tech surveillance and goons everywhere, spreading rapidly to every metropole in the country… while the “diffuse spectacle” of the Americans consists of Trump bullshitting the public, soothing (or trying rather ineffectually to soothe) the markets, while putting God-talker Pence, who already killed a bunch of people when he was governor of Indiana during the AIDS crisis, on the front line. The Democrats will, as always, provide a Greek chorus of moaning complaints while ineffectually wringing their hands.

    You have to say that the old “more sophisticated” diffuse spectacle of the flagship of the formerly “advanced” West is looking a bit moth-eaten compared to its bureaucratic-capitalist rival, but it still may be more cost-effective in lining the right pockets while keeping the population scared and confused. Contrasting this to the seething anger of all the Chinese under house-arrest across the PRC, one sees the immobilization of the American public is achieved with far less exertion and cost, while doing no more damage to the legitimacy of the regime than the tech-intensive Chinese method.

    Of course there’s just a small possibility that as things develop, all of this could go terribly wrong…

  18. Facemasks:

    “As of Wednesday afternoon, Amazon had largely sold out of different mask varieties. Keepa, which tracks the prices of items sold on Amazon, shows that a 10-pack of 3M N95 respirators that sold for $18.20 roughly a month ago now costs $99.99. And one Amazon seller is offering a 30-pack of 3M N95 respirators for $198.98. On eBay, a two-pack of 3M N95 face masks is available for $59.99. Other retailers typically sell a pair of masks for less than $6, but are currently out of stock. One Amazon customer told CBS MoneyWatch they bought 100 3M N95 respirator masks this week for $10 each, spending a total of $1,000 — an indication of the growing consumer anxiety about the risks of contracting the coronavirus in the U.S.”

    “Doctors say that there is little evidence that masks protect wearers from infection. Instead they recommend that people wash their hands regularly, clean work surfaces and door handles, and try to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.”

  19. China censors report of how authorities hid COVID-19 genome sequence test result for 14 days:

    “Upon testing, a lab in Guangzhou found out that the genome sequence of the new virus was 87 percent similar to Bat SARS-like coronavirus. The lab shared the results with the China Institute of Pathogen Biology and Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on 27 of December. However, the National Health Commission issued a new regulation banning all the labs from sharing and releasing their test results in early January.

    China only allowed the release of the genome sequence of COVID-19 to the World Health Authority (WHO) on 11 January, two weeks after they got hold of the result.

    So, to sum up previous posts, the chronology of events is this:

    Lab finds the new virus – 27/12/19

    State begins censorship of information – 31/12/19 –

    Xi Jinping admits privately the severity of the virus – 7/1/20 –

    WHO informed – 11/1/20

    Xi makes clear request that Hubei province implement comprehensive and stringent controls over the outflow of people.” – 22/1/20

    Xi warns officials that efforts to stop virus could hurt economy: – early February

  20. New York Times comment on state attitudes towards viruses, past and present:

  21. Hong Kong Has Contained Coronavirus So Far — But At A Significant Cost –

    “As the U.S. and much of the world deals with the arrival of COVID-19, one place that’s managed to limit the spread of the disease is Hong Kong. Hong Kong sits right up against China’s Guangdong Province, which has had more than 1,300 cases, the second largest number on the mainland after Hubei. But Hong Kong has seen fewer than 100 cases since the outbreak began, and so far its strategies to contain the coronavirus have prevented large-scale outbreaks that have happened in countries like Iran, Italy and South Korea. The suppression of the disease in Hong Kong, however, has come at a steep cost to the city. Schools are closed. Many businesses are shuttered. All train, bus and ferry service to mainland China is suspended, and the border with China is essentially shut down.”

  22. Intensified social control UK-style:

    Those with flu or cold could be asked to self-isolate, UK government says

    “Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said that the step would be necessary in a new phase where “we will be having to ask members of the general public to do different things than they would normally do”. Whitty said that would mean “a situation where we say everybody who has even minor respiratory tract infections or a fever should be self-isolating for seven days afterwards”.
    The new measures were set out as Boris Johnson called for a “national effort” to tackle the virus, insisting that the experts “know how to defeat it”.

  23. 9/3/20:
    Italy: riots in at least 24 “lock-ups” against Coronavirus-related visitor restrictions

  24. “Mr.Bean” does English language propaganda for the Chinese state:

  25. From a friend:

    Israel and the virus:

    “Israelis returning to the country from overseas are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days from the time of their arrival.

    In addition, anyone who returned from over a dozen countries listed on the Health Ministry’s website must retroactively self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of their return, as must anyone who returned from an international conference overseas, even if it wasn’t in a flagged country.”


    “The government announced an emergency package of more than NIS 10 billion ($2.8 billion) Wednesday, as it sought to stabilize the economy and offset some damage caused by the coronavirus crisis.

    Some NIS 8 billion ($2.2 billion) will be dispersed to businesses, NIS 1 billion ($281 million) to the health system, NIS 1 billion to stem the spread of the virus and an unspecified amount would go to the aviation industry, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.”


    “We’re asking, if there is no need for conferences, if there is no need for events, don’t hold them and don’t go to them,” Netanyahu said during a press conference at his office.

    He said exceptions would be made for security, health and public needs, while urging Israelis to make “behavioral changes” and change their “day-to-day routines.”

    “We like to hug, shake hands, kiss — don’t do it,” he said. “Wash your hands. Maintain good personal hygiene.” … The quarantine measures are among the most dramatic to be introduced by any nation in the intensifying battle against the coronavirus. On February 26, Israel had become the first country in the world to advise its citizens against all non-essential overseas travel.


    On being an ethnic Chinese in Israel during these days:

  26. Crimethinc translation from Italy:

    “Let’s be clear: though Trump and other nationalists worldwide intend to use this opportunity to impose new controls on our movements, this pandemic is not a consequence of globalization. Pandemics have always been global. The bubonic plague spread worldwide several hundred years ago. In introducing a ban on travel from Europe while continuing to try to preserve the health of the United States economy—rather than directing resources towards preserving the health of human beings within the US—Trump is giving us an explicit lesson in the ways that capitalism is fundamentally hazardous to our health.”

  27. Soap most effective way to protect yourself:

    But also infusions of thyme, rosemary, sage, ginger and turmeric (use honey to make this palatable).

  28. Good news at last! –
    Bolsonaro tests positive –

    Added later: sadly, turns out to be untrue.

  29. Greta Thunberg demands submission to the experts:
    “Greta Thunberg has urged fellow climate campaigners to avoid mass protests and listen to local authorities….”We can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis and we must unite behind experts and science. This of course goes for all crises.”

  30. Article on how internet article on Dr Li Wenliang, the whilstleblower doctor who first alerted the Chinese state of the virus and was arrested for spreading false rumours was censored and how people have constantly and persistently found temporary ways round the censorship –

    (article in Chinese, but Google Translate gives a fair w=enough idea about what it’s all about.)

  31. Residents of Hubei community defy lockdown to protest against overpriced food :

    “After weeks of quietly accepting a government-enforced lockdown, the patience of some residents of a Chinese city close to the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak
    finally ran out on Thursday, as they gathered to protest against the high prices they say they are being forced to pay for their groceries. For the past several weeks, the supply of food to the tens of millions of people forced to live in isolation across Hubei province has been carefully controlled by local government agencies. But many residents of Yingcheng, a city of 600,000 people about an hour’s drive from Wuhan, considered the goods on offer to be overpriced. So when a man was detained by the police for providing the same products at lower prices, they decided enough was enough. …
    Defying the terms of the lockdown, hundreds of residents gathered on a basketball court …to vent their anger. They dispersed only after local government officials and police arrived at the scene. The demonstration was sparked by the detention of a Sea Mountain resident surnamed Cheng, who used his personal connections to supply his neighbours with groceries”…He was detained on the charge of “unlicensed sales” but released after about an hour…Another resident, identified only as Zhou, said people were fed up at having to pay inflated prices for food and other essential items. The situation had been going on for over a month, she said, adding that some of the vegetables provided through the official channels were old and no longer edible. “We were so angry that we’d been deprived of choice, of access to cheaper and better products,” she said….”

  32. In France Macronavirus is spreading (he’s closed the schools, universities, everything but major production and offices, supermarkets, town halls, prefectures or police stations – everything but fundamental state institutions and things necessary for the economy), there’s also a healthy disregard for avoiding kissing and handshakes. They stopped entrance to football stadiums but filmed the games without crowds. Outside thousands watched on their mobile phones and hugged and kissed when a goal was scored for their side. Some people have developed conspiracy theories that – although at best pointless – are at least seen in terms of the growth of struggles throughout the world (as a method of suppressing them, of course). It might take a bit more than the so far 79 deaths in France to beat down the healthy skepticism that – at least within my experience – still prevails.

    Inevitably with this incessant propaganda many people (including myself) get a little worried with each cough or twinge or slight ache, and I’ve started drinking an infusion of thyme, rosemary, sage, ginger and turmeric each day – something I do anyway when I feel I’m getting the flu.

    And quite a few low-cost supermarkets are running out of stock. How long before we’re given ration cards and told to put up blackout curtains on our windows I don’t know. The comparison with a war that you can see by my attempt at a joke doesn’t go very far. They’re aiming at something far worse – an isolation that never existed during war time. And isolation and anxiety weakens resistance to illness.
    Macron appeared on telly and claimed it was due to globalisation – ironic since he’s a fundamental part of it. Probably a bit of demagogy aimed at boosting his party’s lamentable chances in
    the local elections throughout France today. None of it has much logic even within its own terms – touch money or door handles and you’re potentially touching a million microbes from other people….

    It’ll soon be like this:

  33. Apparently in 1969-70, an especially virulent flu gripped France, killing 31,226 people in just 2 months:

    Globally, this flu killed a million or so. In 1957 Asian flu killed 2 million globally.

    This is the first time I’ve heard about this ’69-’70 epidemic and nobody I know or have known in France have ever mentioned it. The incessant invasion by the spectacle today is such that just a few deaths (so far, globally, 0.6% of the amount of deaths in 69-70) and they close down the world.

  34. TR says:

    Regarding the comparison with war and the similar mentality that is imposed by the authorities, I’ve just seen this post by a friend on Facebook who shared a kind of reproving meme that says “Your grandparents were called to war. You are being called to sit on a couch! You can do this!”

  35. Some relatively good news:

    “Weeks after a group of homeless mothers took over a vacant house in Oakland and managed to keep it, another group of moms is trying to do the same in Los Angeles.
    On Saturday morning, the protesters and their families moved into a two-bedroom bungalow in El Sereno. They say they plan to remain indefinitely and potentially take over more houses.
    They are calling on state and local governments to use all publicly owned vacant homes, libraries, recreation centers and other properties to house people immediately. They say the the region’s extreme lack of affordable housing and the threat of the novel coronavirus pushed them to act….
    Escudero, who works two days a week as an elderly caregiver, said the mothers in Oakland inspired her to occupy the vacant home on Saturday morning. She said the protesters are trying to push the state and city to take care of homeless residents and those without stable housing, especially given the new risks associated with the spread of COVID-19.
    “With the coronavirus, they want us to be quarantined in our homes, but some of us don’t have homes,” she said.
    In speaking to supporters, the protesters, who call themselves Reclaiming Our Homes, said they understood what they were doing is illegal, but the more significant issue was that homes were left vacant while people in the community were homeless.
    “They say it’s a crime to come and occupy these houses,” Benito Flores said. “But this is not a crime. This is justice.”

  36. Siddiq Khan says:

    In the NY times article you reference, the author notes that mortality rates of corona are similar to those of Spanish influenza, the deadliest pandemic in history. “The most deadly pandemic in history was the Spanish flu of 1918. The virus infected an estimated one-third of the world’s population and was responsible for causing between 20 million and 50 million deaths — that’s an estimated 1% to 3% mortality rate.” Corona is 1 to 2%. And they estimate it will infect two-thirds of the population before a vaccine is developed. Pretty bleak. So, maybe the response is more warranted than one might at first suppose, rather than merely an exercise in social control.

    • But where do they get these estimates from? On what evidence, given that the death rate in China is slowing down?

      Israeli virologist urges world leaders to calm public, slams ‘unnecessary panic’: “‘People think this virus is going to attack them all, and then they’re all going to die,’ says Prof. Jihad Bishara. ‘Not at all. In fact, most of those infected won’t even know it’…“I’ve been in this business for 30 years,” Bishara said in a Channel 12 interview. “I’ve been through MERS, SARS, Ebola, the first Gulf war and the second, and I don’t recall anything like this. There’s unnecessary, exaggerated panic. We have to calm people down.

      “People are thinking that there’s a kind of virus, it’s in the air, it’s going to attack every one of us, and whoever is attacked is going to die,” he said.

      “That’s not the way it is at all. It’s not in the air. Not everyone [who is infected] dies; most of them will get better and won’t even know they were sick, or will have a bit of mucus.”

      But in Israel and around the world, “everybody is whipping everybody else up into panic — the leaders, via the media, and the wider public — who then in turn start to stress out the leaders. We’ve entered some kind of vicious cycle.” “

  37. Some more interesting links:

    – Earlier, the mayor of Turnhout said he was writing to the mayors of Tilburg, Breda and Eindhoven in the southern part of the Netherlands to ask them to bring their own rules into line with Belgium’s, in order to prevent what he called “horeca-tourism”.

    “Those who knowingly violate the quarantine could be sentenced to seven years in prison, while those who do so out of negligence could get a three-year sentence. “


    From someone I know in Spain: “it feels like the whole world in an instant has become institutionalised and the people have become willing and in some cases, eager participants. Round here they all seem to want to be prefects. Under normal circumstances, there would be groups wanting to organise, to resist the constraints being imposed on them but against the threat and fear of infection, no collective action is possible. And of course, if they did, the people caught up in the mass hysteria would turn against them anyway seeing them as a threat to life. It’s a double, treble bind.”


    Added 18/3:
    I should emphasise that his congratulations to China and its social controls are no way something I agree with at all. Besides, it may well be that it has not been the social controls that has reduced the fatalities in China but the use of an anti-malaria antiviral called Chloroquine. Check out the post below for March 18, 8.19 am:

    Rough, though pretty good, Google Translate translation (it’d take too long to translate properly):
    “CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY: the gesture you should NOT do
    March 15, 2020/130

    The Minister of Health Olivier Véran said on Saturday:

    “Taking anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, cortisone, etc.) could be a factor in worsening the infection”

    He is right: in case of fever, do not take anti-inflammatory drugs like:

    Ibuprofen (Advil, Nurofen …)
    Diclofenac (Voltarene)

    But there is another drug to avoid at all costs.

    It’s paracetamol (Doliprane, Dafalgan, Efferalgan…).

    Certainly, the Minister of Health said exactly the opposite.

    Here is the entire statement:

    “Taking anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, cortisone, etc.) could be a factor in worsening the infection.

    If you have a fever, take paracetamol. ”

    But I say it loud and clear: this declaration is irresponsible.

    Several doctors called me this weekend to ask me to tell you the truth.

    They dare not do it themselves, for fear of being punished.

    Today, I am sending you perhaps the most important letter I have ever written to you.

    It could help save lives and curb the epidemic.

    When you have read it to the end, I ask you to transfer it to all your contacts.

    Because this letter contains common sense advice that we do not tell you about…

    … like avoiding lowering the fever at all costs:
    Lowering the fever is MADNESS

    It’s been 50 years since the French Nobel Prize in Medicine André Lwoff has demonstrated this [1]

    “Enlightened” doctors have been telling their patients for decades.

    It’s been 4 years since the French National Authority for Health recognized it, with lip service [2].

    It’s been two years since one of the world’s leading virus specialists publicly proclaimed it. [3]

    Artificially lowering a fever with medication is DANGEROUS.

    It’s almost always a bad idea, no matter what the infection.

    But against the Chinese coronavirus, this can have catastrophic consequences.

    I remind you that this virus is starting to infect your nose and your throat.

    And if the virus stays there, you don’t risk anything.

    On the cruise ship Diamond Princess, almost half of the passengers who tested positive for coronavirus did not even notice that they had an infection!

    And among the others, those who “felt it pass”, the majority only felt a bad cold.

    The problems start when the virus reaches your lungs.

    Your priority is therefore to do everything to avoid it, when you have a cough or fever.

    There are simple gestures, which the authorities do not tell you about and which can help you (I will detail them below).

    But if there is one thing that should not be done, it is to lower the fever with a medicine.

    Because fever is your first line of defense against the spread of the virus in your lungs.

    Listen to Professor Paul Offit, head of the Infectious Diseases Division at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania:

    “Many studies in recent years have shown that taking drugs to lower fever affects the body’s ability to overcome illness.” [4]

    In France, the Haute Autorité de Santé said exactly the same thing:

    “Fever can have a beneficial effect in severe invasive infections and serious non-febrile infections (without fever) have been linked to increased mortality.

    In addition, some publications indicate that the use of antipyretics (drugs that lower fever) could delay the healing of certain viral infections “[5]

    I explained to you why in detail in my letter “When are we going to stop bringing down the fever”, sent on October 30, 2019 [6].

    To summarize, remember that:

    Viruses do not resist high temperatures: it is to kill viruses that your body heat increases with fever!
    At high temperatures, our immune system works better – especially the specialized immune cells to kill viruses and bacteria!

    And if you are not yet fully convinced, know that recent studies have shown that anti-fever drugs:

    prolong flu symptoms [7];
    delay resolution of chickenpox symptoms [8]
    and prolong the duration of colds (rhinovirus) and worsen symptoms [9].

    Faced with the coronavirus, it is therefore OBVIOUS that we must avoid lowering the fever.

    Anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen…) must therefore be avoided at all costs, of course…

    … But also paracetamol (Doliprane…)

    But, you will tell me, if it is so obvious, why the authorities do not tell you?

    And why does the Minister of Health tell you exactly the opposite ???

    For the same reason, alas, as that which leads our authorities to:

    avoid recommending you to take vitamin D and other scientifically proven natural remedies for viral respiratory infections such as coronavirus (I will detail them later);
    refuse to recommend medical treatments that have been proven in China and South Korea (injections of vitamin C / hydroxychloroquine + zinc);
    and hide the reason why hypertensive people are also severely affected by the coronavirus (answer: some anti-hypertension drugs worsen the infection).

    The reason is that our medical system is all about money and prestige.

    The pharmaceutical industry has nothing to gain from prescribing natural remedies (or old drugs) … and a lot of money to lose if you stop taking certain drugs.

    And our “great teachers of medicine” take no prestige in advising you what enlightened doctors, homeopaths and competent naturopaths have been telling you for years.

    As Professor Raoult ironically says, with old remedies like chloroquine “we are cutting the grass under the feet of many people who dreamed of winning the Nobel Prize for finding a new drug or a new vaccine” [10].

    That is why you cannot expect our authorities to tell you the whole truth in the face of the current crisis.

    And this is why I am writing this letter to you: to tell you, independently, what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from coronavirus.

    You will find below a “natural protocol”, simple to set up, effective, without risk and scientifically supported.

    But I would like to say a word more about anti-fever drugs:
    Why anti-inflammatory (and anti-hypertension) drugs are so dangerous

    So anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen fail to break the fever, which deprives you of an effective line of defense against the virus.

    But they also have another disastrous effect, specific to the Chinese coronavirus.

    This explains why at least four young people are currently in intensive care, in Toulouse, simply because they had the misfortune to take ibuprofen!

    Here is what is happening.

    The coronavirus multiplies in the lungs by attaching to a receptor called “angiotensin 2 converting enzyme” or ACE2.

    As one reporter put it, “If you look at the human body as a house and the coronavirus as a thief, then the enzyme ACE2 is the doorknob through which the intruder will enter” [11].

    However, several substances increase the number of ACE2 receptors … and could therefore facilitate the entry of the virus:

    This is clearly the case with ibuprofen – hence the statement by our Minister of Health;
    But also certain antihypertensive drugs called “converting enzyme inhibitors” (ACE inhibitors) and angiotensin II receptor antagonists “(sartans) [12].

    Note that these anti-hypertension drugs are sometimes also used in the treatment of diabetes.

    And coincidentally, the two most common diseases associated with a bad reaction to the coronavirus are:

    And diabetes

    Which is very unusual for a respiratory infection!

    The reason, most likely, is that the drugs are making the situation worse!

    So I advise you to consult your doctor now if you are taking these medicines – there are alternative medicines, but only your doctor can prescribe them (and do not stop your treatment without his advice!)

    (In brackets, you will benefit from avoiding these drugs anyway: among their adverse effects, ACE inhibitors and sartans increase your risk of lung cancer [13] [14]!)

    For paracetamol, the problem is a little different:
    Why you should ALSO avoid paracetamol

    Paracetamol, like anti-inflammatory drugs, has the great fault of lowering the fever artificially, and that is reason enough not to take it.

    But in addition, if you take it for several days, you have a real risk of ending up in the hospital for liver failure.

    Remember Naomi Musenga, the woman who died after calling the emergency room … without being taken seriously.

    Well, the Strasbourg Prosecutor discovered that his death was linked to “intoxication with paracetamol absorbed by self-medication over several days”.

    In fact, as soon as you take 2 or 3 grams per day, you are putting your liver in serious danger.

    According to a report from the Canadian Department of Health, 1 in 5 cases of very serious paracetamol poisoning occurs after the patient has complied with the authorized dose [15].

    And of course, if you exceed the maximum dose (more than 3 grams per day [16]), you are taking even more risks…

    … and that’s what could happen with our Minister’s irresponsible declaration!

    I can already imagine the thousands of people who will rush to the pharmacy to buy paracetamol, believing that it is effective against the coronavirus!

    Please transfer this letter around, you must absolutely avoid it!

    Especially since there is yet another risk with paracetamol: it depletes your glutathione reserves!

    Glutathione is the “master of antioxidants”: it allows other crucial vitamins, such as vitamins C and E, to play their full role.

    Most importantly, glutathione is used by our respiratory system to protect healthy cells from inflammatory damage [17].

    Besides, it’s because a substance like acetylcysteine ​​(NAC) increases your glutathione reserves that it thins the bronchi and protects your lungs.

    In short, it is, from all points of view, a VERY BAD IDEA to take paracetamol.

    According to the French National Authority for Health, the only justification for paracetamol is the “fight against the discomfort” linked to fever [18].

    But it is better for you to be “uncomfortable” for a few days, with a fever at 39.5 °, rather than finding yourself hospitalized, with respiratory assistance.

    And on this subject, especially do not clutter hospitals if you have “only” a fever. Call the EMS (15) only if you have trouble breathing!

    Now that we’ve seen what not to do, here’s what to do.

    I’ve refined the “natural anti-coronavirus protocol” a bit since my last letter on the subject, to make it even easier to carry out.
    Vulnerable or not, here’s what you need to do NOW

    Whether you are a vulnerable person or not, it is in your best interest to be as physically prepared as possible.

    This first involves three simple actions:

    Eating well – avoid sugary foods that plague the immune system, and eat light enough (fill up to 9/10, as the Japanese say);
    Sleep well – to help you, turn off that damn TV and stop watching the anxiety-provoking news, especially at night!
    And a gentle and regular physical activity, which is, by the way, one of the best “anti-stress” that exists (I mean “gentle”, this is not the time to do a marathon or intensive weight training ).

    I also recommend taking two food supplements:

    Vitamin D, whose effectiveness has been scientifically proven against acute respiratory infections [19]: go to the pharmacy, it costs almost nothing, and take 10,000 IU per day for 10 days, then 4,000 IU per day for 2 months (if you know you already have an optimal rate, 2 to 3,000 IU per day may be enough).
    A quality multivitamin, which contains sufficient amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E (natural) and zinc.

    Personally, I take vitamin D and a multivitamin all year round, but if you don’t, now is the time to do it, for at least 2 months.

    I refer you to my last letter for scientific justification, but I would like to add a word on zinc.

    Zinc is a powerful anti-viral, which should not be missed at this time.

    Better still, it could even be a key nutrient in the treatment of the most serious cases of coronavirus: as I said, South Korea has had excellent results with an alliance of hydroxychloroquine + zinc.

    So even if an excellent multivitamin can cost up to 40 euros per month, I really recommend that you make the investment for two months, especially if you are vulnerable.

    I give you back the few brands (on the Internet) that I trust: Biovancia, Unae, Supersmart.

    In an ideal world, this should be reimbursed by Social Security, but you have understood that our medical system was nothing ideal (or even “normal”).

    Finally, always in prevention, it’s time to indulge yourself with a thyme tea, with half an organic squeezed lemon and honey, every day.
    For vulnerable people: do it NOW, NOW

    Here is the advice I recommend more specifically to those who are vulnerable.

    So, this is primarily for people over 60 who have one or more health problems (lung disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, etc.):

    Take a 3-week course of propolis: 400 mg in the morning, 400 mg in the evening.

    Propolis is one of the most powerful anti-virals that exist.

    And if you really want to put the odds in your favor, also buy a propolis throat spray, and use it at the very beginning of a sore throat, to prevent the virus from reaching your lungs.

    Use Ravintsara essential oil (Cinnamomum camphora CT cineole)

    To protect yourself from viruses, apply two pure drops, without rubbing, on the wrists and forearms, every morning and evening, five days a week (you can also use a drop of ravintsara and a drop of tea tree. , rather than 2 drops of ravintsara).

    It is extremely rare that this essential oil causes the slightest concern, but there can be ultra-fragile skin, so try a single drop first to see how it reacts on you.

    Take a two-month course of quercetin

    Quercetin is a powerful antiviral [20], which there are good reasons to believe that it could be effective against the coronavirus, in prevention and treatment [21] (this substance also has the merit of protecting your lungs [ 22]).

    I recommend at least 500 mg per day (trusted brands on the Internet: PerfectHealthSolution, Supersmart, Nutrixeal).

    And you can easily switch to 1000 mg per day if you are infected, there is no side effect with this dosage.

    If you are infected, this essential oil could make a difference

    If you are infected and have not followed the advice I just gave you, now is the time to do it.

    Simply, instead of the essential oil of ravintsara, useful in prevention, try that of Laurier Noble, potentially effective in the treatment of coronavirus.

    Here is what Pierre Franchomme, one of the world’s leading specialists in essential oils, said:

    “The anti-viral properties of the noble laurel have been the subject of well-documented research.

    This is the case of a study led by Monica Loizzo, from the Faculty of Pharmacy of Calabria. It has shown the in vitro activity of the essential oil of laurel noble on the SARS-CoV virus responsible for the SARS epidemic in 2003 [23] ”

    In practice, Didier le Bail offers the following protocol:

    “The noble laurel essential oil is to be used by the skin and preferably in pure form, that is to say without having been diluted in a vegetable oil or mixed with aloe vera gel.

    In practice, apply HE Laurier noble on the arch of the foot at the rate of 5 drops per arch, several times a day.

    It is essential to apply it only on this part of the body because this ensures rapid and optimal diffusion of the aromatic molecules into the pulmonary alveoli. ”

    So much for the basic advice.

    Again, I call on you to forward this letter to all of your contacts now.

    I’m counting on you, it’s very important.

    Good health to all,
    Xavier Bazin

    PS: I would like to finish by giving you some reassuring news:
    To read if you are PANIC

    The good news is all the more precious at the moment as stress and anxiety are bad for your immune system!

    So there is an urgent need to turn off the television and face reality.

    First, I would remind you that you risk almost nothing if you are young, a non-smoker and that you have no chronic illness.

    If you have no health problems and you are under 60-70 years old, you need not be afraid: even if you get the coronavirus, you have almost no chance of having serious complications. .

    So your priority is to avoid infecting vulnerable people.

    Who are the vulnerable people who could be at risk of dying from coronavirus?

    These are people over 50-60 who ALSO have one of the following diseases:

    Pulmonary Disease
    Cardiac disease
    Immuno-depression (for example following an organ transplant)

    Note that it is better to be 85 years old and feel healthy, rather than be 55 years old, smoke and suffer from heart disease.

    And of course, if you’re 80, you smoke AND you have high blood pressure or lung disease, then you have to do everything to avoid getting the coronavirus.

    Your priority is to avoid rubbing shoulders with others.

    Remember, people who look healthy may have the virus and pass it on to you.

    This does not mean that you have to stay “cloistered” at home.

    On the contrary, go for a walk, if possible in nature, because gentle physical activity is an essential means of strengthening your immune system and fighting infections.

    All in all, even if some vulnerable people have to be very careful, it is reassuring to know that:

    The vast majority of people do not risk anything: for them, the coronavirus will be a “big cold”.
    And unlike the great epidemics in history, children are completely spared from the coronavirus, which is good news.

    So there is no reason to panic.

    OK, but why do governments close schools and restaurants?

    It is true that the decisions of governments are agonizing.

    Many people say to themselves: “if our decision-makers take such radical measures, it is because the problem must be much more serious than what we are told! ”

    But no, it is not.

    As I explained to you in my last letter, the goal of governments is to smooth the epidemic over time.

    What they fear (and they are right!) Is that our hospitals are completely overwhelmed.

    Because the big problem with coronavirus is that many patients need:

    Breathing assistance (therefore a ventilator);
    and, for the most serious cases, to be placed in intensive care.

    The problem is that the number of ventilators, as well as the number of places in resuscitation and intensive care is limited.

    If too many people catch the coronavirus at the same time, hospitals may be overwhelmed.

    And when that happens, people die, when we could have treated them!

    This is what happened in Wuhan (China), and in northern Italy: the mortality of the virus is higher than normal, because the hospital system has been overwhelmed.

    That is why most governments are taking drastic measures, and rightly so.

    When hospitals are overwhelmed with coronavirus patients:

    not only do fragile people die when they could have been saved;
    but healthcare workers are exhausted, can burn out and, in rare cases, die from the infection because they are weakened by anxiety and lack of sleep.

    That’s why it’s imperative to smooth the epidemic over time.

    But note that, even in the worst case scenario, only a small minority of the vulnerable will die from the coronavirus.

    Even in the Hubei region of China, at the heart of the epidemic, there were “only” 3,000 dead, for a population equivalent to that of France.

    It’s 3,000 too many deaths, but it’s still little compared to the more than 10,000 deaths caused by winter infections each year in France.

    And there is other good news, which the media does not talk about enough:

    The Japanese have largely mastered the epidemic, without general containment (probably because they have tight borders and they all use masks)
    In South Korea, mortality is 10 times lower than in Italy, partly because they use more effective treatments than ours;
    In Germany, close to home, the death rate is also very low – 10 times lower than in France! (is it because they avoid ibuprofen and paracetamol?)

    But the most reassuring, for me, remains what has been observed in China for several days.

    Clearly, China has managed to completely put an end to the epidemic (Sunday, the number of new cases was only 20, including 16 imported !!).

    This is remarkable for a country of 1.4 billion inhabitants, which has nevertheless been contaminated everywhere, following the Chinese New Year.

    True, serious containment measures have been taken, but not much different from what is being done in Europe at the moment.

    So there is every reason to think that the epidemic will recede in a few weeks … and that it will only be a bad memory, with, hopefully, fewer deaths than the seasonal flu.

    So don’t panic!

    I know that the situation is particularly worrying, but we are going to pass this test!


























    “…this new totalitarianism has the face of Science and Medicine, of neutrality and common interest. Pharmaceutical, telecommunications and new technology will find the solution. In China, the use of geo-locating to report any movement and any case of infection, facial recognition and e-commerce are helping the State to ensure that every citizen is locked up in their own home. Today, the same states that have based their existence on confinement, war and massacre, including of their own population, impose their “protection” through prohibitions, borders and armed men. How long will this situation last? Two weeks, a month, a year? We know that the state of emergency declared after the attacks [translation note: originally imposed in 2015 following the Islamic State terrorist attacks in Paris] has been extended several times, until the emergency measures were definitively incorporated into French law. What will this new emergency lead us to?…

  41. Coronavirus: The new and ingenious ways Chinese citizens are evading censorship to learn about the outbreak:

  42. Italian workers strike against lack of protection from coronavirus at workplaces:

  43. Algeria bans street marches due to virus; some protesters unswayed:

    “It was not immediately clear if all protesters would agree to suspend their movement. One, school teacher Mohamed Hachimi, said the demonstrations would not stop.

    “The system is trying to use coronavirus as an argument to end our revolution. Tebboune and his men will fail because marches will continue,” he said.

    Algeria has confirmed 60 cases of the coronavirus including five deaths, mostly in the town of Blida”

  44. […] by Dialectical Delinquents from USA on social control and anti-insurgency in epidemic conditions.… – Text by the ever-remarkable Mike Davis describing the pandemic as a medical Hurricane Katrina. […]

  45. According to dominant medical opinion in China chloroquine – an anti-viral medicine used against malaria – is significantly useful against the respiratory effects (ie the lethal effects) of coronavirus. Though this remains to be systematically researched, the real possibility of this being a cure was announced on February 25th, 3 weeks ago! –

    Translation of the above article:

    Chloroquine, a well-known antimalarial, could effectively treat Covid-19, according to Chinese researchers. An announcement amplified by Professor Didier Raoult that it could sound “the end of the game” for the coronavirus epidemic…

    “Game over !” for the Covid-19 epidemic? This is the title of the video of a spectacular announcement, that of Professor Didier Raoult, director of the Institut hospitalo-universitaire Méditerranée-Infections in Marseille in the sequence published on February 25, 2020 by the prestigious research center (see below). below). At the source of this news, two Chinese publications which reveal the potential interest of a long-known antimalarial drug, chloroquine, to accelerate the healing of patients affected by the new Chinese coronavirus. “Chloroquine phosphate, an old drug for the treatment of malaria, has been shown to have apparent efficacy and acceptable safety against pneumonia associated with Covid-19 in multicenter clinical trials in China,” writes a team of pharmacologists from Qingdao University Hospital (Shandong Province – China). If Covid-19 is benign in 85% of cases, such treatment would manage moderate to severe cases. Researchers report several trials in 10 Chinese hospitals including 100 patients in total, a sample still quite limited….

    We will have to continue to evaluate the effectiveness of chloroquine, but a consensus of experts recommends in the scientific articles cited above to include, in China, chloroquine phosphate in the recommendations for patient management, 500 mg twice a day for 10 days. The advantage of such a strategy? This antimalarial is readily available and inexpensive, as the drug has been used for a long time. Still, the announcement of Professor Didier Raoult has been strongly criticized by many French doctors and scientists on social networks for its lack of weight. In fact, clinical data are still limited, and taking chloroquine can cause potentially serious side effects …

    Chloroquine, recommended dose and side effects

    Questioned by Sciences et Avenir, Didier Raoult dismisses the critics: “We have been using chloroquine for a long time in our team to treat certain bacterial infections. Some of our patients have been treated for 2 years so we know the potential side effects. We should start taking Chinese scientists, especially virologists, who are among the best teams in the world, seriously. ”

    In this case, two risks related to chloroquine have been raised in the past. First, that of retinal damage which can even lead to blindness in certain cases. But this concerns a long-term use of this medication (several years). In the case of Covid-19, this would involve treating the patients for ten days. “However, 500 mg twice a day is certainly an important dose,” admits Didier Raoult. The other side effect is that of well-documented acute poisoning, which can trigger heart or respiratory problems. The dose recommended by Chinese researchers approaches this risk zone (20 mg / kg / day not to be exceeded, i.e. 1200 mg for a person of 60 kg, 1500 mg for 75 kg, according to Vidal).

    Towards a clinical trial against coronaviruses with chloroquine in France?

    “The history of chloroquine as an antiviral is a soap opera that gives us a new episode with each emerging virus”, moderates Professor Astrid Vabret, head of the virology department at the CHU de Caen. We know that it works well in vitro on enveloped viruses like this new coronavirus. But the clinical data remains very limited. “It is therefore out of the question to be hhasty about this drug.

    Didier Raoult, himself, is already making plans: “We want to set up a clinical trial in France to test chloroquine on patients infected with already known coronaviruses and which circulate every year around France – without anyone really caring. However, since the beginning of the year, we have diagnosed 500 patients with these other coronaviruses, two of whom have died. It is based on these profiles that I want to test this strategy now. ”

    In fact, four strains of coronavirus already circulate every year in France. “It is important to know that panic is always more dangerous than viruses”, insists Professor Raoult. “However, this new coronavirus really does not deserve a panicky reaction. I continue to say that like other seasonal viruses, it has a strong chance of disappearing in the spring. At worst, instead of having 13 viruses that give seasonal infections, we will have 14. But I doubt that it will make a significant difference to winter mortality. ”

    The French Minister of Health, Olivier Véran, having met with Didier Raoult on several occasions. affirmed: “He told me of his observations and the studies which he highlighted, which I sent back to the general directorate of health which is currently carrying out all the analyses. “

  46. The guy who sent me the links to news about the C crisis in Israel, sent me this:

    Facebook is starting to delete or block certain posts, by me and my friends, all of them critical to the current situation. My posts who were blocked all contained quotes and links to some timesofisrael articles.

    This is getting a bit more alarming.

    Note 19/3/20: apparently Facebook reinstated the guy’s posts saying that it recognised it conformed to their standards, though giving no explanation for having taken them off nor why they put them back up.

  47. UK: schoolchildren and workers say they are taking matters into own hands

    Just hope they washed those hands first.

  48. A site with various bits of information about elements of struggle against the lack of health provisions;

    And another in German:

    By the way, in France, it’s legal (a “right”) for individuals to withdraw – either collectively or singly – from work if there’s a danger to their health and safety.

    None of these things so far challenge the policy of confinement (breaking of which can get you a 135 to 375 euro fine in France or 7 years jail in Israel) or other aspects of this state of exception/deception. (note: I earlier today mistakenly put a 4000 euro fine for France)

  49. Senator Dumped Up to $1.6 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness –

    “Soon after he offered public assurances that the government was ready to battle the coronavirus, the powerful chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, sold off a significant percentage of his stocks, unloading between $582,029 and $1.56 million of his holdings on Feb. 13 in 29 separate transactions.

    As the head of the intelligence committee, Burr, a North Carolina Republican, has access to the government’s most highly classified information about threats to America’s security. His committee was receiving daily coronavirus briefings around this time, according to a Reuters story.

    A week after Burr’s sales, the stock market began a sharp decline and has lost about 30% since.

    On Thursday, Burr came under fire after NPR obtained a secret recording from Feb. 27, in which the lawmaker gave a VIP group at an exclusive social club a much more dire preview of the economic impact of the coronavirus than what he had told the public.

  50. Prison resistance:

    France, Moselle, 15th March:

    About 100 prisoners refuse to return to their cells following prediction of visitor suspension (not yet enforced, though enforced from 17th March onwards)), and already-enforced suspension of outsiders, such as teachers, giving lessons in prison.

    19th March:
    France, Argentan: 14 prisoners climb onto roof for a few hours in resistance to enforced suppression of visitors, and of outside workers:

    “…several rebellious movements also took place in Nantes, Angers, Val-de-Reuil…”[in prisons]

  51. Some statistics about Italy:

    Quick google translate from French:
    “The number of Italians who died from the new coronavirus is particularly high. A dramatic situation which can be explained, in particular, by the age of the population but also by their habits.

    The case fatality rate for the new coronavirus varies from country to country, due in part to the screening policy. The higher the number of patients screened and declared sick, the more, mechanically, the rate decreases.

    But one country is an exception as its numbers are high: Italy. Since Thursday, March 19, the death toll has been even higher than in China. 3,405 people died in the first, compared to 3,133 where the epidemic started.

    According to the latest official figures, the fatality rate in Italy is 8.2% (41,035 cases, 3,405 deaths). By comparison, it is 3.8% in China (81,199 cases, 3,133 deaths), 3.4% in France (11,010 cases, 372 deaths), 4.6% in Spain (18,077 cases, 833 deaths) and 0.2% in Germany (15,320 cases, 44 deaths). The latter country is also an exception, but for its particularly low rate.

    The oldest country in Europe

    Several factors can explain the critical situation in Italy. Starting with the age of the inhabitants, as the Scientific American website explains. 23% of Italians are over 65, making it the oldest population in Europe and even the second oldest in the world after Japan! The median age is 47.3 years, against 41.1 here, according to INSEE.

    Several consequences arise from the advanced age of the population. In some regions, the number of sick people even before the virus arrived was already high, which very logically led to a rapid saturation of hospitals.

    On the other hand, with age, the risks of developing a disease – cancer, hypertension, heart problems … – increase. However, according to Walter Ricciardi, professor and member of the WHO, and figures from the Italian Higher Institute of Health, the vast majority of Italians who died from the virus suffered from at least one aggravating pathology. According to the report, which draws on figures from March 17, the average age of people dead in the country is 79.5 years.
    Contacts between high generations

    The high case fatality rate of the Boot can also be explained by the habits of its inhabitants. For example, according to Abc, 21% of Italians smoke. However, Covid-19 being a respiratory disease, which can lead to pneumonia, this practice can play against the patients, according to the American media. On this side, France is not a very good student, since, in 2017, 26.9% of the population smoked at least once a day.

    Another custom that can work against the country: according to Jennifre Dowd, a professor at Oxford, contacts between generations are particularly important in Italy. As the Wired site reports, taking up a study carried out by the English university, young people tend to live with their parents and even their grandparents in the countryside, even if they work in the city. They are therefore forced to make frequent trips between the two, which may have accelerated the spread of the virus among the oldest inhabitants – and therefore at risk.

    The virus detected too late

    It is also very likely that the Italian authorities took a long time to become aware of the coronavirus epidemic in their country. According to Time, long before the official arrival of the Covid-19 in the Boot, many people were hospitalized for pneumonia, one of the possible consequences of the virus. However, they were not initially treated as carriers, so precautions to avoid spread were not taken from the start.

    Last explanation, even if the number of tests carried out in the country is significant, it may be that the number of infected people is much higher than what the official figures indicate, due to the speed of spread in Italy. However, more patients declared would mechanically lower the fatality rate.”

    And some flu statistics for Italy:

    Quote: “Objectives: In recent years, Italy has been registering peaks in death rates, particularly among the elderly during the winter season. Influenza epidemics have been indicated as one of the potential determinants of such an excess. The objective of our study was to estimate the influenza-attributable contribution to excess mortality during the influenza seasons from 2013/14 to 2016/17 in Italy.
    We estimated excess deaths of 7,027, 20,259, 15,801 and 24,981 attributable to influenza epidemics in the 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17, respectively, using the Goldstein index. The average annual mortality excess rate per 100,000 ranged from 11.6 to 41.2 with most of the influenza-associated deaths per year registered among the elderly. However children less than 5 years old also reported a relevant influenza attributable excess death rate in the 2014/15 and 2016/17 seasons (1.05/100,000 and 1.54/100,000 respectively).
    Over 68,000 deaths were attributable to influenza epidemics in the study period. The observed excess of deaths is not completely unexpected, given the high number of fragile very old subjects living in Italy. In conclusion, the unpredictability of the influenza virus continues to present a major challenge to health professionals and policy makers. …”

  52. Headline: “The Economic Devastation Is Going to Be Worse Than You Think

    The coronavirus’s overwhelming toll on jobs and businesses has only just begun.”


    “In the morning, I conscientiously wash my hands. I can thus forget the eyes torn out by the police in Chile, France or Iraq. Before eating, I wash my hands again with a good disinfectant to forget about the migrants piled up in Lesbos. And, at night, I wash my hands again to forget that, in Yemen, every ten minutes, a child dies from the bombings and hunger. So I can fall asleep. What happens is that I don’t remember why I wash my hands so often or when I started doing it. Radio and television insist that this is a measure of self-protection. By protecting myself, I protect others. The silence of the deserted street enters through the window. Everything that seemed to be impossible and unimaginable happens in these moments: closed schools, prohibition to leave home without justification, whole countries isolated. Everyday life has been blown up and all that remains is to wait. Last night, It was nice to hear the applause that people dedicated to the health professionals from their balconies.”

  54. This article about the almost certain absence of the “airborne” nature of the virus is interesting:

    Worth pointing out that its content almost totally contradicts its headline (“The new coronavirus can likely remain airborne for some time. That doesn’t mean we’re doomed”)

  55. This, despite a somewhat misplaced optimism, is interesting, mentioning various strikes worldwide:

    “The most immediate demands of workers on strike were to receive the right protection gear against Covid-19. But then many strikes went further than this, for example in the case of AvioAreo in Italy workers questioned whether their work – the production of aeroplane engines – is socially essential in these times. Workers at Ferrari did the same for obvious reasons.”


    X writes:
    Useful article, esp. in its description of the “technologically enhanced archaism” of using tradional (at least Ming era) systems of villiage/neighborhood spying networks, plus medern surveillance and data processing equipment. Of course, fascism may be described as “technologically enhanced archaism/barbarism” too, because it, and the Chinese system, are teleologically identical.

  57. Google translate from German of list of some strikes (it translates what in German would be wildcat strikes as “wild strikes”, and I haven’t the time to correct it) –

    The following chronology is intended to provide an overview of the diverse reactions to the pandemic and their immediate and indirect effects. Above all, we want to make the events public where people have the courage to join forces and defend themselves against lack of hygiene measures, loss of income or corporate and state repression. So that the knowledge about the struggles circulates.


    23.3 – AvioAero workers are on strike against the Italian Prime Minister’s new regulation:

    21.3 – Protests by some street cleaning workers in Lima / Peru:
    21.3 – Protests in a prison in Calcutta:
    21.3 – Protests and attempts to escape in a prison in Aura / Uganda:
    21.3 – Protests in several prisons in Colombia:
    21.3 – Protests by miners in Ayacucho / Perú for better security measures:
    21.3 – The rent strike movement in North America is expanding, in Montreal, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Oakland and other cities, banners are calling for participation:

    20.3 – Dock workers in Oakland / US threaten to strike if no measures are taken to protect against COVID-19:
    20.3 – In Istanbul, workers are striking on the construction site of the major Galataport port project for better protective measures:
    20. 3 (start unknown) Migrants go on hunger strikes in internment camps across the United States. The inmates are afraid of an outbreak of the virus due to poor medical care in the camps. There is also an outside support movement for people on hunger strike:
    20.3. In Monterey Park, California, workers at MC Donalds go on strike for better protection against COVID 19.

    19.3 – Walkout at Fiat / Crysler in Chicago / US:

  58. 19.3 – Wild strikes and protests by call center workers in different cities in Brazil (we are still trying to translate the information):
    19.3. Strike in the Turkish textile factory SARAR due to lack of health protection measures on the part of the company.
    19.3 – Strike on Amazon in New York:

    18.3 – Auto workers strikes in Ohio and Michigan:
    18.3 – Labor demonstrations for wages in various companies in Iran: AzArab (petrochemical), HepCo and Tehran’s Metro: There were also strikes in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas :
    18.3. – (and before) prison riots in 27 Italian prisons and at least 2 prisons in France. In addition, prisoners in Madrid take over a prison section:

    17.3 – Strike and decommissioning at the Daimler plant in Untertürkheim:
    17.3 – Wild strikes in several US auto factories:
    17.3 – Revolt in the deportation prison in Aluche / Spain:
    17.3 – Revolt in the prison in Rhoumieh / Lebanon for fear of spreading the virus:
    17.3 – Strike by construction workers in Linz due to lack of safety precautions:
    17.3 – Strikes in several Amazon camps in France:
    17.3 – Protests in China after resuming work:

    16.3 – strike call at Ferrari in Modena / Italy, the next day the factory closes:

    16.3 – Health workers in Nantes on strike: na-plus-de-disinfectant-125a9c7c-6777-11ea-bcfc-a70fb4b6fddd
    16.3 – 5000 workers at Mercedes in Vitoria-Gasteiz go on strike to shut down their factory: -company /

    14.4 – Solidarity with the Italian hospital workers:
    14.4. – China:

    13.3 – Arrest of 8 striking workers from EmilianaSerbatoi / Italy:
    13.3 – walkout at FIAT in Canada:
    13.3 – Strikes at the following companies in Bologna: #GLS #SDA #FERCAM #GROSSALIANI #ZUSTAMBROSetti #UPS #TNT (via S.I. Cobas)
    13.3 – The workers of #ElectroLux in Susegana at #Treviso go on an 8-hour #strike, demanding the closure of all unnecessary activities and continued payment of wages #redditodiquarantena:
    13.3 – wildcat strike in local public transport:
    13.3 – Strike of the garbage workers in Bexley / London:
    13.3 – wildcat strikes across Italy:

    12.3 – Strike at TNT in Teverola / Italy:
    12.3 – Corneliani workers’ strike in #Mantova (luxury clothing production). “Luxury dresses are not essential goods, the factory should close!”:
    12.3 – Cleaners in London on strike: in-row-over-pay /

    11.3 – Wild strikes at Fiat and reaction: “The FCA Group has now announced in a written notice that all production sites in Italy (Pomigliano d’Arco, Melfi, Cassina, Atessa) will be temporarily closed and subjected to special cleaning and disinfection measures become. It is a first success, but it was only enforced thanks to the assertiveness of the workers and is limited exclusively to the Fiat factories. ”

    10.3 – Wild strike in logistics in Piacenza / Italy: “” We remain in place until the company has found a solution. We risk our lives to get to work. But our health comes first! ”Says the logistics workers from Bartolini di Caorso in the province of Piacenza (video). They stopped deliveries because of the lack of necessary safety measures in the face of the corona virus emergency: the warehouses were not cleaned and disinfected, and respirators and gloves were not provided. ”
    10.3 – Wild strike at FIAT in Napoli: “The protests are not limited to this company, the workers of the Fiat factory also laid down in Pomigliano d’Arco near Napoli.”

    9.3 – The revolt in the prison is spreading rapidly: “The protests have already been counted in 27 prisons across Italy, the number of deaths has meanwhile increased to 8 people, some inmates were able to flee in Foggia, but the police caught them again. ”

    8.3 – After announcement of visiting bans there are revolts in Italian prisons: “The announcement of the temporary suspension of visits and colloquia in the Italian prisons due to the risk of infection has led to rioting in three prisons in the Campania region (Salerno, Caserta, Napoli) guided. The situation in Salerno in particular got out of control for a short time. ”


  60. Voluntary euthanasia for those surplus to requirements ( the requirements of their economy):

    “Tx Lt Gov Dan Patrick says grandparents would be willing to die to save the economy for their grandchildren”



  63. More useful information concerning resistance to all this shit can be found here (though I admit, I haven’t read it all, and it may be that one or two of these links are thoroughly ideological in the worst sense of the term):


  65. Wonders of social control Hong Kong-style:

    “On Wednesday, the Hong Kong government announced that all new arrivals to the city must undergo two weeks of self-quarantine, while wearing an electronic wristband that connects to a location tracking app on their phone….If the app detects changes in the person’s location, it will alert the Department of Health and the police. Prior to this new policy, only people who had recently visited Hubei province in China were required to wear a monitoring wristband during their quarantine period.

    While surveillance technologies and measures may give the public a sense of security in controlling the spread of the virus, we must remain mindful and vigilant of their continued use after the pandemic subsides.”



    The Trump Department of Justice has asked Congress to craft legislation allowing chief judges to indefinitely hold people without trial and suspend other constitutionally-protected rights during coronavirus and other emergencies…While the asks from the Department of Justice will likely not come to fruition with a Democratically-controlled House of Representatives, they demonstrate how much this White House has a frightening disregard for rights enumerated in the Constitution.

    This shows the nature of the US Attorney General:




  71. Mostly Google Translate :


    Belgium, Arlon and Leuze: prison riots

    “The coronavirus in Belgium has led to strict containment measures implemented ten days ago to contain its spread. These have resulted in tensions in some prisons in the country which turned into rebellions this Wednesday evening in Leuze-en-Hainaut and Arlon.

    The coronavirus brings prisons to boiling point. Wednesday evening, a series of detainees refused to return to their cells after the courtyard, in Leuze-en-Hainaut and Arlon. This Thursday morning two prisoners were still “recalcitrant” but everything is now back to normal, says the spokesman for the Prison Administration, Kathleen Van De Vijver.

    Shortly after 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, the police force of the area of ​​Tournaisis went to the prison of Leuze-en-Hainaut, where a group of prisoners still refused to return to the cells. Since confinement, the yards are insured but restricted to small groups of prisoners.

    “At 5 p.m., there were 21 prisoners outside. At the end of the courtyard, eight of them refused to return to their cell. They demanded on the one hand more call credits for their telephone and also a full canteen. Currently, some products (crisps, cigarettes, soft drinks, cookies …), supplied by a supermarket, are not available. But as of next Monday, we should be restocked, “explains Kathleen Van De Vijver.

    Two detainees were still in the courtyard on Thursday morning, but have now agreed to return. At Arlon prison, about thirty prisoners who refused to return to their cells Wednesday evening, after the courtyard. The police arrived at around 10:15 p.m. and began a discussion with the detainees, who then agreed to return.

    “However, eight leaders have been provisionally placed in think tanks pending disciplinary proceedings,” said Kathleen Van De Vijver. Until April 5, at least, all prisoners are denied access and they no longer have any common activity (sports, library, lessons). The three daily meals are provided as well as the yards, the logistical tasks (cooking, cleaning …) and workshops for external firms.”

    Riot in capital of Honduras:

    “Protest in Honduras because of lack of supplies against coronavirus.

    The protests were sparked after eight days of quarantine for the health emergency.

    With the use of tear gas, the Honduran police faced protests by several citizens on Tuesday due to the lack of food and the curfew imposed because of Covid-19, local media reported.

    According to local media reports, the protests began on the North Boulevard of the Honduran capital, led by transporters who demand that the government allow them to work because they depend on it for their daily livelihood.

    In addition, there were other groups in different points of the capital, that demanded to be allowed to work for the distribution of food.

    The riots peaked on the North Boulevard when protesters erected barricades with burning tires to close streets.

    One of the groups was that of the workers in the transport area – drivers, collectors and dispatchers – whose units remain paralyzed before the curfew. They claim to have no food for their families because they subsist on a daily basis.

    This group was joined by another in the La Popular neighborhood, which demands that the government allow them to circulate to earn their livelihood.

    “We don’t have food, as long as they don’t support us we won’t move from here,” said one of the neighbors. “We need milk, diapers and food,” he added.

    Honduras, with 36 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, has declared a “health emergency” across the country, has closed its borders and imposed a curfew that is “absolute” in six cities.

    In addition, the government announced on Monday that it will provide food aid to 800,000 families.”


    Prison riot in Santa Fe, Argentina, sparked by prisoners demanding better hygene and health protection for potential Coronavirus:

    “prisoners from two pavilions started fires that sparked new confrontations with the agents of the Penitentiary Service, with the balance of three injured inmates, who had to be hospitalized.

    The riots occurred in pavilions 1 and 5 of the prison, which has a total of 1060 inmates. At those two points the prisoners came out into the hallway and began burning mattresses and urging other inmates to bow to the mutiny. Agents from the Special Penitentiary Operations Group (GOEP) broke into the conflict zone and new clashes ensued. Three detainees were admitted to the Cullen hospital in Santa Fe. One of them reportedly lost an eye, hit by rubber pellets during the repression.

    The climate was once again rarefied in Penal Unit No. 2 due to delays in the entry of food that relatives bring to the inmates, which until Monday was closed, although it was allowed again after the bloody riots. “The problem is that inside the” bagayos “(the packages that carry the visits) the drug enters the jail. And since it was prohibited, narcotics are not entering the jail, something that alters the inmates,” said a senior official. of the Santa Fe government.

    “The problems that erupted in the Santa Fe prisons will not end in one day, because the structural crisis of the penitentiary system, with an overpopulation of more than 1,000 inmates, added the specific inconveniences caused by the pandemic,” he assured LA NATION, the Undersecretary for Penitentiary Affairs and Policies, Héctor Acuña.

    So far, there are no inmates or agents of the Penitentiary Service infected with coronavirus. The inmates’ claim, which began in the Coronda prison – where inmate Alan Montenegro, a member of the Barrabrava de Colón died – and expanded almost at the same time to Las Flores and Piñero prison, arose because the inmates were demanding more Hygiene and health measures in the pavilions due to the danger of contagion of coronavirus.

    The riots broke out a day after the Provincial Public Service for Criminal Defense presented a habeas corpus in which it denounced “deficiencies that violate human rights” and “non-compliance with the sanitary measures that should be adopted in the framework of the pandemic” .

    On Tuesday afternoon, the Santa Fe criminal judge Susana Luna ordered the authorities of the provincial Penitentiary Service to implement a series of sanitary measures to prevent the circulation of the coronavirus in prison establishments.

    The prisoners of Las Flores denounced today that they did not have water nor to hydrate themselves. Is that the prison was totally destroyed after the riot. The mutineers broke pipes and the entire electrical installation. Not only did they set fire to part of the pavilions, but they looted and burned the pharmacy, the infirmary, the school and the work rooms.

    Judge Luna’s ruling also contemplated that inmates, as well as prison officers, should take their body temperature permanently in order to detect any possible symptoms of Covid-19.

    In dialogue with LA NACION, the head of the Provincial Public Service of Provincial Criminal Defense, Jaquelina Balangione, stated: “We have been denouncing the serious situation of the Santa Fe prisons for a long time, with an overpopulation of more than 1,000 inmates, but which is now adding to the coronavirus crisis. ”

    “Life in prisons is inhumane, with overcrowded and unhealthy conditions that are more serious at this time,” said the official, who asked prosecutors and judges in Santa Fe to speed up instances to decongest prisons through house arrests. , transitory exits and parole.

    “At this time it is crucial to solve the prison overcrowding,” he said, while specifying that in the provincial penitentiaries “there is capacity for 5758 inmates and there are currently 6667.”

    The focus of the tension is in the Las Flores prison, where the most violent riot occurred, where four inmates of one of the two pavilions arrested for sexual crimes were killed. Police and Prison Service officers found three fully charred bodies. But the concern of government officials is also about the two largest prisons: Coronda and Piñero.


    India, Maharashtra: Clashes between extended family and cops after cops order them to stay at home


    France, Yvelines: anti-confinement barbecue leads to arrests –


    France, Elbeuf near Rouen: youths chuck heavy-duty fireworks at cops during anti-confinement barbecue, as they also play “rodeo” (races and handbrake turns probably with stolen cars); no arrests.


    India, Delhi: state uses pretext of virus to send in cops to break up longest running sit-in against new racist citizenship law


    Benin: student killed during clashes with cops. Apparently students had demanded the end of classes due to the virus, but a teacher had then ignored this, so students tried to force the class to close down. Cops were called, students were arrested. Students then blocked the highway and clashes ensued with the filth and a student was killed.


    Colombia: Riots and looting in 4 towns and cities

    Colombia, Cucuta: Prison riot provoked by virus

    “During the morning of this Tuesday, detonations of firearms were heard and a fire was recorded in one of the patios of the La Modelo prison in Cúcuta.
    While some family members were preparing to enter the penitentiary center with the aim of giving prisoners personal hygiene items, shots were heard inside the prison.

    At least 250 inmates attacked the guards and set fire to mats. Inmates throw rocks and threaten Inpec members with artisan-made weapons.

    The situation is critical, from the roofs of neighboring houses and nearby hills, amateur videos have been recorded showing a group of inmates running on the roof of the prison and guards from Inpec shooting to neutralize the inmates.

    In another video that circulates on social networks, black smoke is evident around one of the courtyards, the product of a fire that occurs inside the prison.

    So far, several ambulances have gone to the detention center and leave for nearby medical centers. According to the authorities, 3 uniformed soldiers are reported injured.

    Some relatives have released audios sent by inmates from inside the prison. They denounce abuse of power by Inpec and affirm that several inmates remain wounded.

    The mutiny does not stop and the Cúcuta Metropolitan Police controls the main access to the prison. The mobile riot squad intervened to contain the family members’ claims. The out-of-jail landscape is tense.

    “They are running us with tear gas, we need control entities. There is no presence of the Defensoría or Procuraduría, there are many abuses against the wives and mothers of the inmates, ”said Angela Ochoa, member of the Association of Family and Friends of the Prisoners of Cúcuta (Asofamintercuc).

    Last Saturday there was a riot that left four inmates and an injured guardian in Cúcuta. The event occurred simultaneously with excesses that occurred in other penitentiaries in Colombia.”


    Argentina, Concepcion (Entre Rios):

    “Inmates of Penitentiary Unit 4 of the Entre Ríos city of Concepción del Uruguay burned mattresses and carried out a riot on Tuesday that was controlled to demand “better sanitary conditions” and in rejection of the cancellation of family visits in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    Despite the fact that shots had been heard, and that some prisoners had even climbed to the roof area, there were no injuries or escapes from inmates, police sources reported.

    The conflict originated in pavilion 1 of the southeast sector of the prison and continued in the rest of the facilities, where they threw stones, took control of the pavilions, burned mattresses, and climbed the walls.
    Related news

    Faced with this situation, police and prison personnel began a containment operation inside and outside the prison through “rubber bullet” shots.

    According to spokesmen from the Concepción Police Department of Uruguay, the inmates requested “better sanitary conditions” and asked for house arrest for the “prisoners at risk” of getting the coronavirus.

    They also protested the apparent decline in kitchen staff and the move to cancel family visits in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.


    France, Rennes: prison riot

    “Sunday March 22, 2020 at around 4:30 p.m. during the second walk round of MA2, the detained people who were on their walk caused a mutiny by trying to break up the path of the walk.

    Immediately the alert “MUTINERIE” was triggered and the Rennes ERIS was called to intervene in the incident, in support of the intervention teams made up of each CPH building.

    When the alert was triggered, two teams, each equipped with a pump-action rifle, were set up around the MA2 promenade on the right courtyard (neutral zone) and in the walkway.

    One of the teams was obliged to make a warning shot to dissuade the mutineers from any damage to the fence and the intervention door of the promenade.
    When ERIS agents arrive at the establishment, once the detention center and related services had been secured, agents equipped with bomber suits were positioned in the hall of the MA2’s RCH to carry out reintegration of mutineers.

    As the two MA2 promenades were blocked, the management decided to start with the left course (there were 22 detainees).
    The detainees were brought back one by one to the cell by equipped CPH agents.
    One of the leaders of the left court was placed in prevention at the QD.

    Once the left court was reinstated, the ERIS had to reinstate the right court where there were 51 detainees. The MUTINEERS being much more virulent and refusing to be reinstated despite the warnings from the ERIS, the head of the ERIS made the decision to intervene on the promenade course to put an end to the mutiny.

    The detainees were then put back in cells one by one and 2 detainees who were particularly active in the mutiny were placed in prevention at the QD.

    Following the securing of the two jail buildings, all the agents (all bodies combined) present on the establishment proceeded to the distribution of meals in safety.

    The Director, the following day, made arrangements for the start of walks following the weakening of the intervention door of the right-hand promenade yard MA2.
    However, in view of the very tense climate prevailing in detention, we
    [ie the Force Ouvriere screws union] ask you to further reduce activities and therefore suppress all sports and close the entire detention center [ie to outsiders].”



  74. Song to be sung from windows and on balconies at 8pm:

    Originally the 8pm cheering of hospital workers (in France, Belgium and elsewhere) was a spontaneous event, but has now been sanctioned and praised by the dominant media and the state. In Greece, the Prime Minister’s wife exhorted everyone to clap.
    This version is an attempt to claim it back for some margin of autonomous expression. It’s (for those who don’t know) a detournement of a French yellow vest song.



  77. Brazil:

    a massive jailbreak of São Paulo’s semi-open regime prisoners in several jails –


  79. Workers Launch Wave of Wildcat Strikes in USA as Trump Pushes for ‘Return to Work’ :



    China’s President Feeling The Pressure From Dissent in Own Party –

    “President Xi Jinping is under growing political pressure from within the ranks of the ruling Chinese Communist Party over his handling of the coronavirus crisis.
    An open letter circulating online since last week calls for an emergency, expanded meeting of the Politburo to discuss “Xi’s issues” and to decide if he should step down from his leadership of party, government and military.”

    Fears Grow For Chinese Student Who Told President to Step Down:

    China Exonerates Late Whistleblowing Doctor Li Wenliang
    Radio Free Asia, March 20, 2020

    “China has exonerated late whistleblowing doctor Li Wenliang, who was hauled in for questioning by police, who accused him of ‘spreading rumors’ when he tried to alert the authorities about the emerging coronavirus epidemic in the central city of Wuhan. Police in Wuhan revoked a reprimand they issued to Li, who has since died from COVID-19, and apologized to his family for their treatment of him, official media said.

    “Li, an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, had shared information from a patient’s medical records in a WeChat group on Dec. 30, showing signs of infection with a SARS-like coronavirus, the report said. Detained and reprimanded by police on Jan. 3 for spreading rumors, Li was among eight people to be detained and questioned in Wuhan over ‘rumor-mongering’ around the new disease.”

    南早:4.3万隐性”带毒者”中国未包括确诊数字之内 (SCMP: China has excluded 43,000 non-symptomatic coronavirus carriers from its number of confirmed cases)
    Radio France Internationale, March 23, 2020

    武汉七大殡仪馆骨灰盒数量暴露死亡人数 与官方死亡数字相差甚远 (Cremation urns at 7 Wuhan funeral homes show number of deaths far exceeding official figure)
    Radio Free Asia, March 27, 2020 –

    学者:武汉或有近六成感染病例未被发现 (Scholar: Nearly 60% of infected cases in Wuhan have not been detected)
    Deutsche Welle, March 26, 2020 –

    Chinese web vigilantes name and shame people for breaking coronavirus quarantine
    South China Morning Post, March 20, 2020 –


  83. Italy becoming impatient with lockdown – social unrest is brewing

    Google translate:
    “Serious tensions in southern Italy: first looting in supermarkets and calls for rebellion
    Citizens in difficulty due to the crisis launch aggressive messages on social networks, with calls for revolt

    The health emergency is also becoming, as feared, a social emergency in southern Italy: Fearful social protests are feared and the first looting has begun, forcing supermarkets to equip themselves with special vigilance. A cry of alarm emerges strongly from the south, echoed by Italian mayors and Italian intelligence services warning the government: “The people are hungry.” The signals are many and dramatic, turning viral in a few hours. One of them is a video of a father and his daughter biting a slice of bread with Nutella; In a threatening tone he addresses Prime Minister Conte and the Mayor of Palermo in a threatening tone: “If my daughter will not be able to eat a piece of bread, we will storm the supermarkets.”

    Precisely in Palermo, an organized group of twenty people appeared, before the boxes of a Lidl supermarket – in Viale Regione, one of the largest and most frequented in Palermo – with their carts full of products, refusing to pay while shouting : «Enough of being at home, we don’t have money to pay, we have to eat». The employees of the supermarket called the police and police, while panic spread among the large public waiting in the street, queuing with a safety distance of one meter between people. The chaos went on for hours. To avoid the worst, law enforcement agencies are watching today to protect supermarkets in Palermo and other cities.
    Calls to revolts

    Calls to revolt spread like wildfire on social media. The profile of a group called “Noi” has been opened on Facebook, which encourages the revolt with a slogan: “Take back what is taken from us.” Within hours, he had hundreds of followers, some of whom are organized via chat. Their messages leave no room for doubt. There are those who say: “Those who are ready for war on the 3rd (date foreseen for the end of the emergency, although it is certain that the government will decree an extension), must write it down here”, “we must break all the supermarkets ». Another writes: “The problem is immediate, the children must eat.”

    Alexander’s message is similar: «I don’t wait for April, I am without a euro, my family must eat». Many play videos, showing their identity, calling for social revolt, making their own children see. Luky shouts in one of those videos: «At home there may be those who have a fixed salary, if we must be locked up, the State has to bring us food and must pay the rent, we are not Cristiano Ronaldo: Here three quarters of Italians works in black; Rebel! ». According to a recent study by the CGIL (main Italian union), in Palermo and province one worker in three works in black.
    Robberies on the street

    The call for looting of supermarkets is not only in Sicily, it extends to other places in the south. In that half of Italian territory, the underground economy employs almost four million people. In Campania, particularly in some areas of the province of Naples, robberies on the street have increased, with people removing bags with products that some customers have just bought in supermarkets. Rare is the day where in some southern provinces there is no assault on a pharmacy. There are people who shout their anguish and hunger from the balcony: In Bari, the capital of Apulia, the Minister for Social Affairs, Francesca Bottaloci, had to personally appear to bring two packages of basic necessities to a family she had placed in social networks a video screaming from the balcony of his house: «We no longer have money, we have nothing. Come see it ».

    The so-called 007, the information service, has produced a confidential report sent to Prime Minister Conte and Interior Minister Lamorgese with this warning: «There is a potential danger of spontaneous and organized revolts and rebellions, especially in southern Italy , where the underground economy and the capillary presence of organized crime are two of the main risk factors ». It does not escape anyone that the mafias are always ready to take advantage of any explosive occasion. For mafia organizations, the coronavirus represents an optimal opportunity for their criminal businesses.

    That risk of the mafia warns the mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando, who warns that organized crime will take advantage to lead the revolts. The alderman of the Sicilian capital asks the government to grant a survival income: «Alongside many who are living through this moment of very serious crisis with anguish but with dignity, there are groups of jackals and protest professionals who promote violent actions, characters and groups that show and claim their membership in the mafia. I ask all citizens to report them to the police authorities, “warns the mayor of Palermo.

    There are several council members who sound the alarm, including some from an area with high crime, Campania, where the Camorra considers that a golden opportunity presents itself. Ciro Buonajuto, mayor of Herculaneum, threatened by the camorra, has denounced: «We have a youth unemployment of 75%, who works in many cases in precarious employment; now I fear the economic and social effects: usury, drug trafficking, camorra business can spread … ».
    “Attentive to the south, it can explode”

    The unrest in the “Mezzogiorno” is echoed by the minister for the south, Peppe Provenzano, who in an interview today tells Repubblica: «Attentive to the south, it can explode. We must act quickly, the maintenance of democracy is at risk. You have to extend the income of citizenship ”(this is economic aid, around 550 euros on average, offered by the State to those who do not have a job).

    In this context of a very serious crisis caused by the coronavirus, the dramatic speech that the President of the Republic, Giorgio Mattarella, addressed to the country on Friday night, is also explained: “We are living a sad page of our history. We have seen images that will be impossible to forget. Some territories, and particularly the older generations, are paying a steep price. Europe must understand the seriousness of the threat, or it will be too late. Further common initiatives are indispensable – added Mattarella-, overcoming old schemes that are already out of the reality of the dramatic conditions in which our Continent finds itself ».

    The well-known Italian scientist Silvio Garatini has said these days: «The meaning of life comes before the meaning of business. But someone has reversed the priorities. ” Thinking of Europe, a diplomat said it in other words: “When you count the dead, you don’t count the billions.”

    And a more general text on Italy:


  85. India:

    “the young man, sobbing because there was no way home, and no way to escape police batons, who asked, “How will we go, we can’t go by flight, can we?”… working men. They are trying to get home from a hostile city that has downed shutters on them, taken away their work or jobs and their incomes, and provided them no comfort. They are walking to the villages and kasbas they come from because the government of India cancelled all trains, state governments declared curfews and closed their borders, stopping buses, trucks or any other form of transport public or private – in order to stop them going home because there is a possibility that they may carry the contagion further….a series of ill-thought out, poorly timed reactive measures that have hit the most vulnerable the hardest. Factories and establishments were shut down, and construction ground to a halt. …Migrant workers decided to go home. The prime minister had asked people to stay home, and home was where they were going. They thronged railway stations and clambered on any train going towards home. Videos of masses of men leaving on impossibly packed trains from Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu went viral. The ones on the trains were the lucky ones. Those who did not make it on to those trains are now stuck in a limbo – at shut down bus and railway stations far away from home, with no jobs, no money and no roof over their heads and far from their families….Going home is also what the 15 lakh Indian’s abroad who flew back were doing. The big difference was that the government bent over backwards to help the flyers. There were special flights, exceptions made to allow flights to land despite announced closures, and even special dispensation visas issued. These were people bringing more of the contagion into India. But they were Indian citizens, or families of Indian citizens, and they had a right to be home with their own….Migrant workers in India always head home when they have no prospect of work….This time it is not just the loss of work and pay, but also a fear of being sick and dying among strangers, that is driving migrant workers home…It was clear from the prime minister’s first fatuous speech to the nation on the coronavirus crisis that these men and their families did not figure in his world. He spent 30 minutes talking about the need to practice “social distancing”, without addressing the problem of overcrowded housing, and livelihoods dependent on close contact. He made a half suggestion that people might continue to pay their casual and contractual employees even if they could not come to work, but offered nothing, not even hollow assurances, of government support to the workers should this not happen. When he addressed the nation for the second time, on Tuesday, it was in the same vein. This time he said, “Stay where you are.” For thousands of people, this means staying at bus stations, waiting for buses that will not come,or at empty railway stations, or on streets and highways. They will have to live on the generosity of civil society organisations, who Modi said in passing were taking care of the poor. The government, he appeared to say, had no responsibility to anyone who could not afford an aeroplane ticket….”


  87. Report from Israel (Google translate from Hebrew):

    “…In Jerusalem, two large population groups, the Palestinians and the ultra-Orthodox, face unique difficulties in the Corona struggle: from population overcrowding and poor infrastructure, through distrust and long-standing patterns of lack of cooperation between local authorities and residents, to an awareness problem due to lack of access to government information.

    How to deal with “social distancing” in the most crowded neighborhoods in Jerusalem? What to do in prayer? What do families with more than ten households do? How to deal with suspicion about the Israeli establishment? How do you disseminate information to those who are not exposed to institutional communication?

    Information about the impact of the Corona crisis in the east of the city is constantly flowing to a peoples city staff. These are some of the voices we’ve heard in recent days:

    A, an employee of the East Jerusalem health system, expressed grave concern that the rate of infection in East Jerusalem is far greater than reported, indicating a number of failures in treating residents. Patients say that when they contacted MDA and the emergency services received no response in Arabic and were unable to obtain information and instructions. When suspicion of infection took a long time to conduct the test, and even after being diagnosed in the east, epidemiological investigation was not required, so people who did not come in contact with patients Know about it.

    Monir Abu Ashraf, chairman of Kfar Aqab’s residents across the fence, reported to us that the water shortage problem makes life difficult in closure and cleanliness. 60,000 residents of Kfar Aqab – a Jerusalem neighborhood outside the Separation Wall – have been suffering from severe infrastructure problems for years. One of the serious problems is irregular supply of water; the water flows at most one day or two a week, the quantity is insufficient for the residents and the water pressure is not high enough. Now that the danger of contamination requires excessive cleaning, the water problem is threatening. Become a catastrophe.

    D. from the Shuafat refugee camp told of the big panic that gripped the residents following the announcement of the government’s intention to close the checkpoints and prevent residents of the Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the separation fence from entering the Israeli side of the fence. “People don’t know what to do if that happens. Think about moving to relatives inside the fence.” In the meantime, there has been no change and movement in crossings is possible.

    Residents of the Issawiya neighborhood report to us the daily police raids in the neighborhood that continue in the midst of the current era and the false arrests, mostly of minors, daily. If the tension and fear is not enough in the days when the corona supplies us with its own rations, the friction created by the police with the residents results in mass crowds that endanger public health.

    This is what Noa Degoni, a policy development coordinator in the city of Amim and an activist in the Free Jerusalem group writes:

    “I called a friend in Issawiya to ask for his peace and hear more about today’s events. I asked if he and his family were able to gather in and guard themselves, be careful. In response, he said: Day by day the restrictive guidelines in trying to deal with a crisis of the kind that most of us have not known in our lifetime, and we the people on this part of the country make the best efforts to adapt to the realities of mental, economic and health challenges whose scope we do not yet know – the police and occupation are not for the moment confused. Ex-territory, the general These are only a repressive force. ”

    For the full article in “Local Talk”:

    Even in the tense arena of the Temple Mount / Haram a Sharif, we have seen how the Israeli police are increasing the tension rather than reducing it. As some residents have reported to us, the steps taken by the police to reduce Muslim worshipers’ access to the mountain while allowing continued visits by Jewish temple activists have raised concerns about changing the status quo under the cover of the Corona crisis. The agreement reached by the Israeli and Jordanian governments to close the Temple Mount / Haram a-Sharif to the general public during the crisis was an important move to reduce tensions and prevent infection.

    And there is also the economic matter. A large proportion of East Jerusalem residents live below the poverty line, and savings are nothing to talk about. Under such circumstances, dismissal or exit from the USSR is a real financial danger. Members of the WAC organization, who accompany workers and job seekers, report flooding in East Jerusalem inquiries that find it difficult to exercise their rights because the Employment and Social Security websites are not accessible in Arabic.

    WAC recruits volunteers and Arabic-speaking volunteers and volunteers to help the laid off against the Employment and Social Security Service. If you would like to volunteer, you can send a Wetsap message to 050-7596492 or call 02-6280173

    Alongside the many difficulties, municipal, government, and civil society measures are currently being taken to assist the East Jerusalem public during the crisis, whether with access to services, support for the extraction of socio-economic rights and distribution of food baskets and laptops; These moves are unmistakable cooperation from East Jerusalem civil society.

    The coming period raises serious concerns about the consequences of the emerging crisis. Dealing with it will require multiple efforts, creativity and new collaborations, and we hope that the latest moves herald a greater commitment by the authorities to provide widespread assistance to East Jerusalem residents.




  91. UK:
    The London Times has reported on a private event held at the end of February at which government advisor Dominic Cummings explained the UK’s coronavirus response. Those present summarised his position as “herd immunity, protect the economy, and if that means some pensioners die, too bad.” A senior Conservative source described his view as “let old people die.” –

    Government denies this (well, they would, wouldn’t they?):


  93. Sweden:

    I should mention – perhaps obviously – that though I put up lots of links to some of the contradictory aspects of this crisis, that doesn’t mean I don’t have many reservations, to say the least, about some of these articles.


  95. On US death rates and youth hospitalisation rates – for ORDINARY FLU this winter/spring:

    “US flu death toll hits 22K, hospitalization rates high for children, young adults” –



  98. Belgium:
    Spitting at someone could get you 2 years inside –






  104. CoronaCapitalism: companies cashing in part 2 — Airline bailouts, Travelodge, Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Wren Kitchens …


  106. UK:

    Minister of Health, having had the virus, comes out after 6 days of confinement to cough and sneeze close up to people whilst opening a hospital:


  108. At last some good news!
    Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson admitted to hospital with virus:

    Dominic Raab prays for a speedy lack of recovery:


  110. Doctor-cum-politician shows the interconnection of state and pharmaceutical companies (video):

    Amongst the half-truths and one-and-a-half truths there are some interesting genuine truths in this mix of conspiracy-theory-inspired political manipulation and partial medical sense and nonsense.


  112. Gates suggests people be made to have a digital ID showing their vaccination status, and that people without this “digital immunity proof” would not be allowed to travel:



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